Passwords are important in everyday life. With everything being on the internet, there is a password for every website that you create an account for, whether that’s on a shopping platform or social media site. They stop our private information such as phone numbers, bank details and addresses from being public knowledge. Most people think their passwords are secure, but if you’re making these common mistakes when creating your password, it’s probably not as secure as you think.
Not Updating Your Password
Some people will keep the same password for years, which can be dangerous if someone has access to it. They would be able to spy on everything you are doing such as reading emails and will be able to steal your information. It is important to change your password regularly, but you have to do it the right way. Too many people just opt for switching a number or adding in a symbol, but this isn’t enough to stop people from hacking you.
Using the Same Password for Everything
We understand that it can be difficult trying to remember different passwords for every site you log into, but the answer to this shouldn’t be using the same password for everything. If a hacker were to find out what your password was, they would guess that you use it on multiple sites and then they would have access to everything about you. Instead of sticking with a few choice passwords, have a different one for each and jot them down somewhere safe for reference.
Following Patterns Based on Adjacent Keys
Hackers are good at spotting patterns and they know the common ones that people use when choosing a password. If you think a collection of letters and numbers is unique, you need to try again because the likelihood is that it won’t be random to hackers. A lot of people make the mistake of basing their passwords off adjacent keys such as “qwert” and “12345”. Password walking is when people choose these keys that are close together and some popular choices were “1q2w3e4r”, “1qazsw2” and “zaq12wsx”.
Using Personal Information
It makes sense for a lot of people to choose a password that is based on their personal information such as a birthday, name or address. Some people even choose the name of their favourite football team or pet, mainly because they are easier to remember. Choosing passwords such as these makes it easy for hackers to guess, as all they have to do is find you on social media to know the answers. They are able to crack your password with a software that looks for common combinations involving personal information, so it is best not to use this in your password.
Creating Passwords That Are Short & Not Complex Enough
The reason people choose short passwords is that they are often easier to remember, but it also makes it easier for a hacker to guess them. The longer a password is, the harder it will be for them to crack. The average password should be at least 8 characters, but you can go up to 12 or 14 just to be safe. You should also make your password more complex by using a mixture of numbers, upper- and lower-case letters and symbols to make it more difficult to hack.
Using Common Passwords
The worst mistake people can do is to choose a password that is so common, the hackers can simply guess it. Millions of people don’t put the effort into choosing a more complex password and it has cost them their information. They may be easy to remember, but it isn’t worth it. If your password is on the list of the 25 most common passwords, you might need to change it.