Passwords are like locks in every door and window of your house. If you use a skeleton key, odds are pretty good hackers are probably going to end up robbing you blind. Likewise, if your password is not unbreakable and unique, you’re probably opening the front door and letting robbers in for lunch.
Here are the 10 most common password mistakes you probably make and tips on how to avoid them:
- Giving your password to anyone- Even if you’re really good friends, never ever let your friends know your password. Your friend may accidentally pass our password along to others or you may even become ex-friends and abuse it.
- Using just one password – There is a possibility that someone who works on a website where you’re using that password could actually pass it on. They can even use it to break into your account at other websites.
- Not using a pass phrase – Passphrases are now being recommended by security experts. Rather than a simple password, passphrase is consists of 20 or more characters strung together along with symbols, numbers, upper and lowercase letters. For instance, think of something that you can remember but others couldn’t. For example, the word “YellowChocolate#56CadillaFi$h could make a good password. Additionally, avoid using any famous quotes for it could be easy for others to guess.
- Not using a password with at least 12 characters long – Longer passwords are much harder for thieves and hackers to crack than shorter ones.
- Not including numbers, symbols and capital letters – Instead of using an S, try substituting it with a $. Instead of using an L, consider using 1.
- Posting it in plain sight – Research found that lots of people post their password on their monitor using a sticky note. This is a bad idea. If you really want to write it down, make sure to hide the sticky note somewhere where no one else can find it.
- Not using a password manager –Different programs and web services are available online to help you create strong passwords for each of your website. You just have to remember the one password to access the secure site or program that stores the password for you.
- Not using a multi-factor authentication – Most website services now offer options to verify your identity when you log on to your account from unrecognized device. They will send a text or other type of message with a code to verify if it is really you.
- Falling for phishing attacks – Be extra careful when clicking on a link where they are asking you to log in and change your password. While it could possibly be legit, it could also be a phishing scam where your personal information will go to a hacker. If you’re in doubt, log on manually to the site by typing what you know to be the website’s URL that’s saved into your browser.
- Not using a password or fingerprint for phones – Some mobile phones allow you to register your fingerprints for extra security. Sometimes, people with bad intentions use unlocked phones they find to steal the owner’s information. Sometimes, make lots of calls or even send text messages like they’re coming from the owner of the phone. Others pose as you could send texts to make it appear like you are bullying or harassing someone in your contact book using inappropriate words or images.
You’re probably sick of hearing how essential it is to follow certain steps when creating passwords. But by avoiding the abovementioned things, rest assured that you’re on the right path in creating a secured and strong password.