9 Serious Password Related Mistakes That You Should Not Be Making At All!
When creating and managing passwords, knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do. There are a bunch of common mistakes that people often make in choosing and organizing their passwords. These mistakes are so common that hackers know exactly what to look out for when they are attempting to breach accounts, and more often than not, they succeed too. If you want to understand what you should do to create a strong and safe password, then this article here "How to Create a Strong and Safe Password" will tell you all about it. But if you are interested in learning what mistakes could make your passwords weak and vulnerable to hacking, then continue reading below:
Using Adjacent Characters On The Keyboard
People like to use adjacent characters on the keyword like “ghjkl” or “qwerty” in their passwords, for the simple reason that it makes the password easy to recall. But, this is one of the most important don’ts of password creation. Nowhere in your password should there be a string of characters that are adjacent on the keyboard.
Using Partial or Full Login Id
For most of the accounts if not all, users are required to use a combination of login id (user name) and password in order to log in. It’s not uncommon for people to use their account’s login id in the respective account’s password too, either partially or fully. However, login id or user name should never be used in the passwords. On the same note, you should also not be using your email id in the password in any way, given that email id too is typically used as a login credential.
Keeping Passwords Too Short in Length
The more you trim the length of your password to make it convenient for yourself to memorize, the more you are exposing your account to the possibility of a breach. A short password is by no means potent enough to protect your account. It’s generally a good practice to have a long password, preferably made up of random phrases featuring both upper case and lower case letters and interspersed with numbers and characters.
Using Consecutive Letters or Numerals
Are you guilty of using consecutive letters like “abc”, “xyz” or consecutive numerals like “123456” in your passwords, maybe once or even more number of times? A common and grave mistake in password creation, using consecutive letters or numerals anywhere in the password should be avoided at all costs, since this can make your password too simple and obvious to guess.
Recycling Passwords in Different Ways
Recycling your passwords could mean using a password for more than one application or using an old password again. Your passwords are meant for one-time use only. This means neither should you repeat an old password nor should you have one password for several applications. Let a password be active for only one application at a time, and once you replace this password with a new one, throw it away for good.
Using Words Out Of A Dictionary
Words that are lifted out of the dictionary, not just from an English language dictionary but those of other languages too, make for bad passwords. Hackers may use programs that are equipped to conduct a thorough check on the dictionary words. Whether you use the dictionary word as it is or in its reversed form, the hacking programs could be sophisticated enough to render all your password masking efforts useless.
Saving Passwords in the Web Browser
Allowing your web browser to do your job for you, the job of remembering your passwords, is a mistake that can cost you heavily. Taking advantage of the browser vulnerabilities is a tactic often employed by hackers, which means browser isn’t the safest place for your storing your passwords. Therefore, when your web browser asks you whether you want to save password for an online application, remember to say no! It’s worth the effort to type the password manually every time you want to log in.
Using Modifications That Are Quite Simple To Guess
Another common mistake that people commit in creating their passwords is using numbers and special characters in a way that’s quite obvious. Substitutions like ‘S’ with ‘$’, ‘a’ with ‘@’, ‘o’ with ‘0’, and ‘I’ with ‘1’ aren’t as complicated as you might think. Similarly, just because using numbers and special characters in the password is a good practice, doesn’t mean that you use them in a way that’s a no-brainer for hackers, like only in the start or at the end of the password.
Using Various Kinds of Personal Information
The range of personal information that people use in their passwords is huge. From their first and last name to the name of their favorite movie or book, people tend to use all kinds of details about their life in their passwords. The world we live in today, no personal information is truly private anymore. In most cases, an online research is enough to get a person’s details like name, address, birth date, birth place, wedding anniversary, pet name, names of significant other and of close friends and family, favorite movie, song, sport, or book, nickname, email address, contact numbers, etc.
Social security number is a relatively difficult piece of personal information to find out, but it’s possible nevertheless. You share your social security number for diverse purposes, like loans, insurance, taxes, etc. If the organization collecting your social security number as part of the formalities ever suffers from a data breach, then all the accounts where you’ve used the social security number in the password will possibly get compromised as well.
Hence, it’s smart to refrain from using any sort of personal information in the password to avoid any predictable as well as unpredictable risks.