5 Mistakes Most People Make With Passwords

Are you making it easy for hackers to get into your accounts? Stories abound daily about people having their accounts hacked and their identity stolen. Many of us know someone who has had their identity stolen in the ensuing headache that follows. Sleepless nights and hours spent trying to piece back together one’s financial life.

 

Take a look at the following five common mistakes that many people make when choosing passwords. Are you guilty of committing any of these identity sins?

 

#1: Using the same password for each of your accounts.

This is a huge mistake. If you are doing this then stop right now. Each of your accounts should have a different strong password. Think about it this way. Your bank may have a very secure site, but the membership you have with the dinky yoga site doesn’t. So you are using the same password for your bank and the yoga membership site. A rookie hacker trying out his new skills could crack into the yoga site and snag your email address and password. Because you’re using the same password for your email as well, they login to your email account. Then they look through your email history to see what sites you belong to. They find out what bank you use and then use the password they got from the yoga site to log into your bank, and boom!

is your password strong

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#2: Using passwords that are too short.

 

Every time you add a new character to a password it becomes exponentially more difficult to crack. You should have a password with at least eight characters in it. I use 16 character passwords.

 

#3: Let’s see if I can guess your password:

 

Is it your kids birthday? How about the name of the street you grew up on. Better yet, is it the middle names of your kids? That I get close?

 

Don’t use any name for a password. Your password should be random characters such as “J4(m1{d8”. This is an example of the kind of strong password that you should be using.

 

#4: English words that you find easy to recall.

 

Hackers have programs with a database full of thousands of English words. The program can check tens of passwords a second. If your password can be found in any dictionary anywhere in the world, then don’t use it. Finally, if your username and password is “username” and “password”, that I can’t believe your identity is still intact.

 

#5: Don’t use numbers either.

 

Any kind of number, whether it’s a Social Security number, the kids birthday, or your phone number growing up. Just don’t use numbers.

 

Ideally, you should be using unique, randomly generated strong passwords for all your sites. Don’t worry about having to remember all your passwords. Use a program like this one to manage all of your passwords. You only need to remember one strong password to get into the password manager program. Let the manager remember the rest.

 

I have been using this program for over five years now and I could never get on without it. My password manager now keeps track of nearly 100 different online accounts all using super-strong 8+ digit passwords. I only have to remember one password to log into the management program. Incidentally, I use the diceware method for that password. It is made up of eight random words. It is basically impossible hack. You can read about the diceware method here.

 

What are you waiting for?

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