Never being robbed does not mean you can’t be robbed. Using weak passwords invites hackers, leaving you vulnerable to phishing and security breaches.
Repeating the same mistakes, but still unknown about the errors. Most passwords nowadays can be cracked using guesswork, links, google or a simple brute-force attack. Passcodes are like your innerwear; never let it get robbed by others. Here is how?
In this blog, we will discuss the common mistakes individuals make when they create their passwords and how to avoid them.
7 Common Password Mistakes to Avoid in 2023
Secure your passwords, an online defence from hacks, so you don’t get robbed. These are the mistakes people commonly make when creating a password. Let’s discuss in detail about those mistakes.
Using weak and short passwords
Using simple passwords is a ubiquitous mistake that compromises the security of online accounts, leaving users vulnerable to hacking attempts. One standard error is varying the passcode with single characters, such as using “password1, password2”, which provides little security, and attackers can easily steal your password using simple brute force attacks.
Moreover, using too short passcodes, like “12345, Olivia1, Mia1”, is another common mistake, as they lack the required length to withstand hacking attempts.
Another noticeable mistake is using common passwords, like “123456, password, qwerty,” which are the most commonly used and easy to guess. Such weak passcode can be hacked within seconds using automated tools. Top 10 most common passcodes examples;
SOLUTION: Users should follow best practices in passcode management. Use passcodes at least 12 characters long, combining uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Users can also use password manager tools that generate a strong password within seconds without you having to do anything.
You may also like: The Importance of Secure Password
People reuse the same password across multiple accounts, a prevalent and risky mistake in online safety. Many individuals find it easy to remember and use the same password for various platforms, like email, social media, and online banking. However, this practice gets you hacked.
When using the same password everywhere, one account is stolen, and attackers gain access to other accounts. They lead to potential identity theft, financial fraud, and unauthorized access to personal information. For instance, repeating the password “MyPassword123” for social media and online banking increases the chances of a security breach.
SOLUTION: Use unique and new passwords for each account. Using a password generator can assist in generating secure passwords.
Lack of Complexity
Using recognizable keystroke patterns like “qwerty, 1qaz2wsx3, !@#$%^&*, asdfgh” makes password cracking easy, providing little protection against cybercriminals. Substituting letters with numbers, such as “p@ssw0rd, 1l0v3myl1f3”, might seem like a good password, but it’s a common tactic and can be quickly cracked using automated tools.
Another mistake is using simple word-based passwords, like “football” or “iloveyou,” which are easily guessed based on shared interests or emotions.
SOLUTION: Avoid using predictable patterns and common words. Use a password manager; enable two-factor authentication.
Password sharing is a significant security risk that can lead to unauthorized access and potential data breach. One common mistake is sharing passcodes with friends, family, or colleagues, assuming they can be trusted. However, this practice can backfire if the recipient mishandles; hackers can steal your password.
Another mistake is keeping logged-in accounts on shared devices or public computers. If someone else gains access to the device, they can easily access the reports and sensitive information without needing the password, and your most secure password is useless.
SOLUTION: Refrain from sharing passwords with anyone, even if they seem trustworthy. Always log out of accounts on shared or public devices.
Not Updating Password
Not updating passcodes regularly is a common yet risky mistake many individuals make. When people never change their passcodes, hackers can use various methods, such as brute force attacks or exploiting leaked passcodes from previous theft, to gain unauthorized access.
Sticking with the same passcode for an extended period, even years, across multiple accounts. For instance, using the default password “Password123” as a passcode and using it for various accounts is highly insecure. The password strength may be high but can be easily guessed or cracked by password-cracking software.
SOLUTION: Create a strong password for each account and change your password regularly, at least every three months.
Using Personal Information
People often create passcodes based on easily accessible details, such as their names, birthdays, pet names, or favourite sports teams. These guessable passcodes are a goldmine for hackers using social engineering or automated tools to steal accounts.
For instance, using “John1985” as a password based on the user’s name and birth year is highly vulnerable. Incorporating common phrases like “ilovecats” or “123456” further weakens the password’s strength.
SOLUTION: Create a strong passcode using information other than personal data and regular passcode changes.
Storing Password in Plain Text
Many individuals make the mistake of writing down their passcodes on paper or sticky notes or, even worse, saving them in a document on their computer or mobile device, leaving passcodes vulnerable to cyber attacks.
For example, if someone writes their passcodes on a sticky note and leaves it on their desk, an evil person could easily take a photo or copy the information, gaining access to sensitive accounts. Similarly, saving passcodes in a text document on a computer leaves them open to hacking if the device gets compromised.
SOLUTION: Use password managers. These tools securely store passcodes in an encrypted vault. With a password manager, users only need to remember one master password to access all their stored passcodes.
Additional Common Password mistakes to avoid
Ignoring Security Prompts: Overlooking prompts recommending passcode updates or additional security measures can put accounts at risk.
Ignoring Security Intrusion: Failing to update passcodes after a known security intrusion can lead to illegal account access.
Falling for Phishing Attacks: Responding to phishing emails or clicking on malicious links can lead to passcode theft and account compromise.
Not Using Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Neglecting to enable 2FA leaves accounts vulnerable to attacks that rely solely on passcodes.
Saving Passwords in Browsers: Allowing browsers to save passcodes without using additional security measures exposes passcodes to potential unauthorized access.
Disregarding Password Strength Meters: Ignoring passcode strength indicators provided by websites when creating passcodes can lead to weak and vulnerable choices.
Avoiding regular password mistakes is essential to stay protected from hackers and cyber threats. We can significantly enhance our online security by creating strong passwords. Avoid easily guessable information, avoid sharing passcodes, and update them regularly. Furthermore, incorporating 2FA and utilizing password managers adds an extra layer of protection. Ignoring security prompts, intrusion, and falling for social engineering attacks can harm our digital safety.
Knowing one’s weakness makes them strong; remember the regular mistakes people make, avoid them, and create the strongest passwords for every account.