Three common password mistakes you should avoid

1234, your dog’s name, your own name. Some of us are not particularly adept at choosing passwords for our computers or online subscriptions. The fact of the matter is, as research from Kaspersky Lab has shown, we put our online safety at risk by making bad password decisions, or making simple password mistakes that have far-reaching consequences.

Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business at Kaspersky Lab, says:

"The best passwords cannot be found in the dictionary. They are long, with upper and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation marks. However, with people having so many online accounts today, it's not easy to remember a secure password for everything. Using a password management solution can help people remember and generate strong passwords to minimize the risk of account hacking online."

Kaspersky's research revealed three common password mistakes:

  1. People use the same password for multiple accounts, meaning that if one password is leaked, several accounts can be hacked.
  2. People use weak passwords that are easy to crack.
  3. People store their passwords insecurely, defeating the point of having passwords at all.

The research further showed that large numbers of people, almost one in five, have faced an account hacking attempt but few have effective and cyber-savvy password security in place. For example, only a third of Internet users create new passwords for different online accounts, while one in ten people use the same password for all their online accounts. People are also not creating passwords that are strong enough to protect them from hacking and extortion. Only half use a combination of upper and lowercase letters in their passwords and only two in three use a mix of letters and numbers. The study also showed that people are mistreating their passwords by sharing them with others and using insecure methods to remember them.

Ultimately, the safety of your online activity is in your hands, so don't wait to learn a hard lesson before putting effective password security in place.