Sunday, August 26, 2012

Common pitfalls in using passwords

Passwords are needed to secure your identity. You need a good password to ensure hackers will be kept away from getting precious information that will help them steal not just your identity but also the money from your credit cards and  bank accounts.

However it is easy to succumb to some bad habits when it comes to using passwords. Here are the common pitfalls you should avoid

1) Don't use the same password across all accounts

Make sure your computer passwords, email, bank account, online wallet (like PayPal, AlertPay etc) , social accounts (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter), messaging accounts (Skype, Yahoo Messenger, etc) and such important accounts have different passwords.  It may be hard to remember them all but the precaution is still worth it. Any case there is always the option to recover password or you can do it old-style and write it in a notebook which you could keep safely tuck away always in a safe place and always away from prying eyes.

2) Avoid using a short password

Hackers typically try to guess what your password is. They make use of programs that can try hundreds of possible combination in just one minute. The shorter the password the easier it is to guess because the lesser the combination the computer has to test.

3) If you must share your password change it afterwards

You might have asked someone to check your email for you or post a photo online on your behalf. Even if you know that person very well it is still good practice to change your password. It is possible that although they will not do anything bad but what if they have accessed your information from an infected computer that has a keylogger which logs keyboard strokes and send this information to a hacker? If the account used for that password like your email may contain sensitive information then it is better to be on the safe side and change your password.

 4) Taking things for granted and not regularly changing your password

You never know who is trying to hack your account. By regularly changing your account like as often as every 90 days or  at least once a year helps deter hackers who try to brute force their way into your accounts.

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