Do you re-use the same password for your email, Facebook, bank and other sites? A lot of people do. It’s a habit that you may not even realize is putting your online security at risk. Remembering multiple passwords is hard, so using the same one just seems easier.
What you may not realize is that using the same password across multiple sites is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. As we’ve seen recently with cases like Dropbox, Minecraft and the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty accounts, once a hacker is able to crack your password for one site he may be able to easily access other sites if you use the same password.
Don’t make a hacker’s job any easier. Take the following steps to protect yourself:
- Always use a different username/password combination for each site that requires a login – The easiest and safest way to do this is by using a password manager that can do the job for you with the help of a password generator.
- Avoid using your email address as a username – Many sites will give you the option of creating a username or simply using your email address. When faced with this choice, always create a new username. Email addresses are easy for hackers to uncover and if you’re using it as a login across multiple sites, you’re only making a hacker’s job easier by eliminating some of the work.
- Take advantage of 2-step verification whenever possible – This is especially important on any sites containing your financial information, but using it on other sites as well will provide even more protection.
If you’re serious about improving your online security habits, eliminating password re-use will go a long way.
What other ways do you avoid password re-use? Tell us in the comments section.