Passwords are among the most prickly of topics to discuss when you bring up cybersecurity and just how safe your home, business, family, or workstation is.
When the Internet was new, and the only password you had to remember was on the back of your ATM card, the world seemed a lot easier. But as things have gotten more complex, with everything from the ability to work remotely on your company’s services to order groceries from the store and have them in your house in one hour, it’s not surprising that passwords have gotten more complex and more perplexing. One password you could handle remembering and remember to change every 90 days. When one password becomes 11 needing the same thing done, you find yourself more and more behind the eight balls trying to figure out which password is for which service.
Passwords went unchanged for years, were just redundant uses of the original, or were put on actual lists of paper that people then managed to leave on their desks. All of these shenanigans led to trouble for companies trying to keep their private stuff private, Users can’t handle all the changes, common passwords get hacked, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone great solution. A real solution to this problem is choosing a password manager such as Dashlane.
There are ways for people to battle past the problems they’re having with passwords, however. Five main mistakes are being made that are correctable that can be a big help in making sure your password doesn’t end up sinking ships.
● Write down your reminders for your password: You’re not Sherlock Holmes, and you’re not nearly as smart as you think you are. Writing down passwords is like the Riddler telling Batman what he did because he can’t want to play the game. Criminals can figure out your clues without much effort. Don’t make it easier for them.
● Have a public record of your passwords: This is the polar opposite of what you should be doing. Putting them all in one place, even if it’s in the wall safe of your home or someone where secret you think nobody will ever look, you’re making it infinitely easier for someone to take all of your passwords by doing this.
● Pick simple passwords: Passwords are meant to e complex for a reason so that a criminal with an algorithmic machine can’t simply plug and play until they get their site. If your last name is Johnson and your password is Johnson 1 for your email and Johnson 2 for your work email, you are part of the problem. If a hacker figures out one of your passwords is Johnson1, then it’s a quick leap of logic forward to what the rest might be.
● Use the same password for all your accounts: This is the most tempting of all five because it just makes the most sense: You’ve had success with one password, and you believe no one can guess it. But of little sleep anywhere – spyware that tracks your keystrokes on your computer – and everything you own and have access to can suddenly be in someone else’s hands.
Sharing passwords: The bane of most employers is people sharing passwords, especially with former coworkers who have moved on. Taking passwords outside company grounds is an excellent way to get fired.