Are Your Passwords Safe?

Society | May 17, 2022, Tuesday // 12:25
Bulgaria: Are Your Passwords Safe? @Pixabay

Do you have a favorite password that you use across several accounts? If you’re like the majority of the population, you probably have. Unfortunately, poor password habits like this can have a long-lasting adverse effect on your overall online security. Despite the fact that we are becoming aware of the growing number of online risks, a significant number of us still use common passwords to protect their accounts.

In 2019, the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency faced a massive cyberattack that exposed the sensitive data of 70% of the population. Even though it’s sometimes impossible to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals, keeping good password practices can make a significant difference in protecting your identity.

If you’re not sure which password practices are endangering your security and what you can do to prevent a data breach, keep reading because we’re bringing you advice on how to tackle these issues.

Risky password practices and how to address them

1. Creating weak passwords

You don’t have to be a cybersecurity expert to figure out that “password,” “qwerty,” or “12345” are some of the worst password choices you can make. Essentially, you’ll want to stay away from any common dictionary word when creative a password. Including personal information like birthdays, license plate numbers, or pet names is also pretty risky.

What to do instead:

  • Create passwords that are at least twelve characters long
  • Your passwords should contain a unique and unusual combination of words
  • Always combine letters, numbers, and symbols in your passwords
  • Make your passwords as random as possible

2. Recycling passwords

Since memorizing a new password for each account is impossible, people often reuse a few of their favorite passwords for different accounts. This could give hackers easier access to your sensitive information and lead to a data breach.

What to do instead:

  • Create a new password for each account
  • Connect your personal and business-related accounts to separate email addresses

3. Trying to memorize your passwords

Those who already follow our previously-mentioned advice and set up unique passwords for all of their accounts may face another problem. Memorizing a vast number of passwords is almost impossible, and most people tend to use risky methods to save their credentials. For instance, 57% of people admitted using sticky notes as their preferred password storing option.

What to do instead:

  • Create passwords that are strong and unique but still memorable
  • Use a password manager to store your credentials safely
  • Don’t write your passwords down on sticky notes, and don’t store them locally on your device

4. Sharing them with others

Giving your colleagues, friends, and family members access to your credentials may sound like a great solution when you’re in a hurry and need someone’s help.  If your passwords end up in the wrong hands though, it can put your accounts at unnecessary risk. However, if you still end up sharing your passwords with someone for whatever reason, change them as soon as you get the chance.

What to do instead:

  • Share encrypted credentials via a password manager
  • If you have to share passwords without a password manager, use an encrypted messenger app like Signal

Conclusion

Strong passwords are an essential part of every good cybersecurity plan. If you want to make sure your credentials are appropriately taken care of, start using a password manager. However, if you still want to manage your passwords yourself, take our suggestions into account and avoid unnecessary online risks. 

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Tags: security, safe, password, protection
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