What are the risks of password reuse?


It is convenient for many people to reuse passwords because they do not want to remember different passwords or worry about complicated password rules. That convenience, however, can put you at risk for data theft, so it is essential to understand the risks and what you should do instead.

Guessing passwords

When you reuse passwords, it doesn’t matter how important the account is. So, if someone figures out your password for something not too critical, like your social media, they could easily use it to access something really important, like your online banking.

Similar format usage

One form of reusing passwords is using the same structure instead of the exact wording for each password. An example of this is using common patterns like replacing vowels with numbers. Maintaining consistent structures across passwords may help you remember individual passwords better, but it also simplifies password cracking. Once a hacker sees a predictable pattern, they can often exploit that to enhance the efficiency of their password guessing.

Losing money

Most hackers seek banking, credit card, or identity theft information to make money. They will likely take advantage of that data quickly before you find out. Not only could you lose money, but with identity theft, there are often multiple complications in correcting your credit scores or getting loans.

What to do instead

Convenience cannot come before digital safety if you want to remain secure.

Random and complex passwords

The most unguessable passwords are those that are random and complex. Use a mix of letters, cases, numbers, and symbols that do not represent words or names. Also, remember that longer passwords are generally stronger passwords.

Password generators

Password generators create long, random, and complex passwords for you. They will use a combination of characters that are very difficult to guess.

Password managers

Password managers offer convenience and security. They can generate random passwords for you and securely save your password for each account. Instead of having to remember multiple complex passwords, you only need to remember the one for your password manager. Of course, remember to make that primary password very hard to guess.

Are you looking for help to secure your organization’s online accounts? We can help you develop a password policy, implement better cybersecurity measures, and provide training. Contact TeamLogic IT today.

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