Monday, December 9, 2019

Passwords & Password reuse

Passwords & Password reuse

This is hot topic everywhere. Everyone has heard the risks of using the same password for multiple accounts. I of course can’t stress it enough either. Never use the same password for multiple accounts. And the age old, “don’t use easy to guess passwords”.
By easy to guess I mean don’t use your phone number, birth date, name, kids’ names or birth dates, this list goes on and on.

Many people will choose easy to remember passwords, just for the sake of it being simple to log into whatever it is you are using. This is the most popular way of getting your accounts stolen. It doesn’t take much for a hacker or scammer to look you up on the Internet and usually find your birthday, address, or phone number. Either from you posting it somewhere you think was safe or from social media sites.

Passwords, you hear about it almost every day, Passwords leaked here, or stolen from there. A lot more websites and online retailers are beginning to ask for stronger passwords, or passwords that require special characters.

Something I suggest is to use a password manager. There are lots out there, I have tried a few and have settled on Dashlane. I find it easy to set up and use, and it even sync’s across all my devices. After using one of these, I don’t know how I didn’t before. It has an autofill, and auto log in features which are great, as they defeat key loggers because there is no typing to do.

PC magazine has a good list of free and paid password managers. Check them out here.

Below is also a list of the most commonly used passwords of 2019. Do you see any of yours?

  1. 123456                          13. 000000
  2. 123456789                    14. Iloveyou
  3. qwerty                           15. 1234
  4. password                       16. 1q2w3e4r5t
  5. 111111                           17. qwertyuiop
  6. 12345678                      18. 123
  7. abc123                          19. Monkey
  8. 1234567                        20. Dragon
  9. password1
  10. 12345
  11. 1234567890
  12. 12312

If you have any of those set as your password anywhere, Change it! Passwords you choose should be unique and include special characters like: @,#,$,& and a combination of letters and numbers as well. This makes it much harder to guess. Another good method is making a password at least 8 characters long, if not 12. This makes your password a little tougher to be found by malware or brute force attacks.

You can also consider using an authenticator. These are 2FA (2 factor authentication) apps, that give you a second line of defense. After you enter your password, you are prompted to put in the one time “code” that the authenticator provides you with. Some places even offer key chain style authenticators. I find these are very useful as well, Google has their own authenticator that you can add many different sites to just by scanning a QR code.

Hopefully this will help some of you out. Don’t forget to check out my earlier articles on some other great topics.


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