Are your passwords secure?
If you’re guilty of reusing that same password of your dog’s name for every single account, you are not alone. That said, it might be time for an intervention on “password clinging.”
Data breaches happen every day, and the sad fact is, they are mostly caused by one seemingly innocent reason: the reuse of password credentials.
Hackers can pretty easily guess what it will be by simply taking a peek at what you post on your Facebook or other social media accounts. (Remember all those photo-captioned pictures of your kids and pets? Socially shared memorabilia like these are dead giveaways for hackers.) From there, they can access your data and throw it around like confetti all over the web.
Creepy, right? And here’s the real kicker: If one of your accounts is hacked, all your others will be compromised too in the perfect domino effect that hackers will be sure to knock down. To avoid this, it’s time to stop clinging to the same password and venture out.
How do I remember all these different passwords while staying safe?
We get it – remembering passwords is difficult if all of them are different. Writing them down in a physical list is a bad idea, too, because of the possibility of a shoulder surfer or dumpster diver tiptoeing around your office in search of just that. All is fair in free, unprotected passwords. So, instead of writing them down, here are some tips to help you remember safely:
- Choose an acronym to use for everything, but different words to fill them in. For example, using ACHE. For one site, the password could be “all_C@rs_h3ad_East75” and for another, it could be “Average_CHristm@s_Eve94”. Super random phrases, but using the same pattern could help you remember. Think of an obscure song or movie line and use different lyrics or quotes from it. But make sure it’s not something everyone on Earth knows the lyrics to. Meaning: don’t use a popular song.
- Do you have a regular office or desk you work at? Most of us do. Try to look around the room and find things specific to your office you can use as passwords. For example, if there is a painting on your wall of a flower, you could say “Pr3ttyPeony_0nmyW@ll” for one account. Or to represent that loyal stack of stickies on your desk, “Gr33nstickyn0tes32”. See how fun this can be?
- Create hints for yourself that only you would understand. Then, write the hints down (not the passwords themselves) and keep them in a desk drawer, not visible to outsiders.
Your protection starts with you
Always remember your security starts with what you do to stay proactive. While we are here to guard your sensitive information, your protection is far more enhanced when you employ simple habits like differentiating your passwords. Learn more about IDShield’s privacy and reputation management enhancements.
IDShield is a product of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”). LegalShield provides access to identity theft protection and restoration services. For complete terms, coverage and conditions, please see an identity theft plan. All Licensed Private Investigators are licensed in the state of Oklahoma. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations.