The 7 Password Mistakes You Might Be Making
Believe it or not, there are a lot of mistakes that you can make with your passwords. Here are the 7 most common password mistakes.
We keep a lot more personal information online than we used to. Malware is much stronger and more common now, as are the efforts hackers are willing to go to access that personal information. Unfortunately, we all tend to follow the same password-making habits — many of which can weaken our accounts and put our information at risk. Here are the 7 most common password mistakes you might be making:
- You create short passwords.
Although a lot of websites don’t allow passwords under a certain length now, many sites and programs don’t care how long your passwords are. If you use short passwords such as “buddy” or “Star1” then you’re setting yourself up to be hacked.
Read More: 5 Tricks for Creating Stronger Passwords
- You create passwords that are too simple.
If your password follows a certain pattern on your keyboard, such as “1qaz2wsx” or the infamous “QWERTY,” then it’s far too simple. Other passwords that are too simple include common phrases or sayings.
- You reuse the same password for different accounts.
You should never reuse the same password — or a variation of the same password but with a change in numbers — across any of your accounts. This weakens your accounts and makes it much easier for a hacker to access them.
- Your passwords are predictable.
Hackers are aware of the most common password-making trends. Many people start their passwords off with a capital letter, followed by 3-5 lowercase letters, 2-4 numbers, and then a symbol. Or, others will replace certain letters with a similar-looking number, such as in the following example: “cr33p.”
- You change your passwords too frequently — or not frequently enough.
There are many different opinions when it comes to how frequently you should change your passwords. Some experts say you shouldn’t change your passwords unless there’s a data breach, and others say you should change them every 6 months to a year. Regardless, you should definitely change your passwords if you haven’t done so in several years.
- You share your passwords.
Sharing your passwords to various online accounts is never a good idea. You never know how someone else will treat your personal information, or even how he or she treats the security of his/her own information or device.
- You record your passwords on paper or your device.
Writing all of your passwords on a piece of paper or a sticky note, or else keeping them in a document on your computer or phone is a surefire way to put all of your personal information at risk to a hacker or thief — you’ve just given them easy access to all of your accounts.