Are you sloppy with your online passwords? It’s time to change your habits

May 23rd, 2013


Are you guilty of one of the worst bad technology habits - using the same password and login name for dozens of online sites? If so, you might be putting yourself at serious risk. Cunning hackers just might crack your password. When they do, what’s to stop them from utilizing that password to access all of your favorite online sites – including, potentially, your online bank – while pretending to be you?


Very recently, hackers were able to get access to the password information of up to 50 million users of LivingSocial. This breach handed hackers access to the names and e-mail addresses, too, of those users. As you can imagine, a lot of LivingSocial users went scurrying to switch their passwords.


Unfortunately, some people may have responded too late to the password breach. Tim O’Shaughnessy, the chief executive officer of LivingSocial, was quoted after the password breach as telling the site’s users to change their passwords. Also, he advised users to change their passwords at other sites if these passwords are the same as or similar to the one they had been using at LivingSocial. This is useful advice. Even better advice? Never use the same password to your more important online sites in the first place.

Change it Up

It’s bad enough if a hacker nabs your password at one site. But what if you use this exact same password at other sites? What happens if you use this same password at your online bank or credit union? You could be in a world of hurt as this hacker quickly uses your universal password to break into dozens of your favorite or most sensitive online sites. Yes, it’s not much fun trying to remember the dozens of passwords you will need as you make your way across the Internet. Nevertheless, find a way to make the effort. It’s MUCH more trouble to find out that a cyber criminal has used your password to empty your online bank account.  One worthy consideration for you might be an online  password management tool - or for home use, simply keeping a good old spiral notebook handy.  For more useful tips regarding passwords and online security, download our recent "8 Smart Things About Passwords" white paper.