While technology has leaped from earth to the extraterrestrial, we have not given up on our habit of taking passwords casually. In this post, we have outlined some of the most common password mistakes that people make and some really simple tips for creating better, stronger, and secure passwords.
5 common password mistakes most of us make
#1. I keep my pet’s name as my password
We all love our pets, and sometimes to such an extent that we tend to use their names for our passwords; “Fluffy”, “Fuzzy”, “Dandy”, “Bubbles”, etc. While these are really cute names for your pets, they are a piece of cake for hackers. A survey revealed that one in six people use their pets’ name for coming up with passwords.
#2.My password is my robin; wherever I go it follows
So what if I am using the same password “cody123” for my social network, my banking site, my gaming site, and my iTunes account? It is easy to remember, don’t you get it? Of course, it is easy to plop down your fingers and type the same password for different accounts. But this factor of convenience is making you ignore one vital point. After a hacker manages to steal your password, the first thing they would do is try their luck with the same password for hacking into your other accounts. It is something like, your car’s key is the same as that of your neighbors’. So using your key, a crook can steal the cars of rest of the people in the block.
#3. Special characters are so ugly, ugh!
For most of us, special characters like @, #, %, _, &, etc., may be annoying little pricks to type on the keyboard. But sometimes, best things come in annoying packages too. Let me give you an example. I used a password checker tool to see the difference a special character can make in creating a strong password? For a password “gingalala123”, hackers may need about 8 hours to crack it. However, a password such as “gingalala@#123”, can keep them busy for 1 year. Now, what do you think about special characters?
#4. Strong passwords for my email account; are you kidding me?
It’s after all an email account; why would some hacker be interested in reading about the offers I receive, newsletters, or my chat history with my friends? You are forgetting one important point here – don’t you use your email for resetting passwords? So, if a cybercriminal has hacked the password of your email account, they may have access to passwords of other accounts which may be more important or sensitive.
#5. Short passwords are good passwords
Most websites and applications require users to enter a password that is at least 6 – 8 characters long. They do not do this because they have a lot of free space to spare, but they are aware how serious users are about their password strength. By keeping a short password, you are only making a hacker’s job easy.
So, avoid these password mistakes and follows these simple tips
1. Use your pet’s name for your pet only, and nothing else.
2. Use different passwords for different websites.
3. Make it a rule of thumb to insert special characters in your password.
4. Treat your email’s security with no less importance than the security of your social networking account or bank account.
5. When creating a password, remember, keep it at least 6-8 characters long.
6. Use at least one uppercase letter while choosing a password.
7. Avoid using dictionary words, predictive words, proper nouns, names of celebrities, date of birth, or any personal information for passwords.
8. Think of a phrase, for instance, “She dwelt among the untrodden ways”. Now for the password, use the first letter of each word, which will give you sdatuw. Now, throw a dash of special characters, one uppercase letter, and some numbers, and you have with you the ultimate password – Sdatuw@#5896. To hack this kind of password, we wager, a hacker would take 10 years!
Having said all of that, complex passwords are secure but for most they may be difficult to remember. In such a case, you can consider using a reliable password manager. And if you should use any such applications, ensure that the master password is impregnable, and most importantly, is not used for any other sites. Stay safe.