The Most Common Mistakes When Creating Passwords

Password
  • Creating a strong password isn’t as simple as it may sound.
  • Many people fall into the same traps that hackers can capitalize on.
  • There are several ways to increase your security.

Creating a strong password is not as simple as you may think.

When that little bar that tracks your password progress turns green, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve created a strong barrier. Sometimes, we can leave ourselves vulnerable without even knowing it.

Here are some of the common mistakes when creating passwords and how you can avoid them.

The Basics for Creating a Strong Password

You’ve probably already heard the basics for creating a strong password, but it doesn’t hurt to refresh your knowledge.

  • It Should  Be Long

If you’re creating a password for a less sensitive account, like a Reddit profile, you should make your password at least ten characters. It should contain various symbols, and it should be difficult for someone else to guess but relatively easy for you to remember.

But if you’re creating a password for an account with highly sensitive information, such as a bank account, you should aim longer. 16 character passwords should be standard for these sensitive accounts. It sounds like a lot, but it’s well worth it to avoid a complete life upheaval due to a security breach.

Check out this chart of password-hacking time based on the number of characters:

Passwords
It’s time to do away with the 8-character password. | Source: BetterBuys
  • It Should Be Varied

Of course, you want to make sure you use a variety of characters when creating a password. Use multiple symbols. Use numbers. Use capitalized and uncapitalized letters. The more variance of characters you have, the more difficult your password will be to crack.

Common Mistakes When Creating Passwords

  • Using Personal Information

All too often, people compromise their security for ease of use. They will use personal information when creating their codes, but personal information is easy for other people to find.

  • Using the Same Password

Let’s say you’ve created a long, varied password. All too often, people will use this strong password to secure multiple accounts. The obvious problem with this is that if someone hacks one of your accounts, they’ll have access to the others as well. Always use separate passwords for separate accounts.

  • Using Predictable Patterns

You can have a long, even varied, password, but it doesn’t matter if it’s predictable. For example, “abc123efg456hij!” is fairly predictable and would be much easier to crack than a more random password. Most password generators can supply you with a strong, random password to the length of your choosing.

Check out this video explaining powerful passwords:

Password

Further Helpful Steps

If you want to strengthen your accounts’ security, it’s wise to use a 2-factor authenticator. This usually involves a separate code that can be texted to you or generated on an app, in addition to your password. Services like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook all have an option for 2-factor authentication.

Once you start getting into 16-digit passwords, it can become quite difficult to remember them. Many people are tempted to write them down on paper or within an email. Either way, they’re opening themselves up to risk. Find a trusted password manager, such as Keeper, LastPass, or Google Password Manager. These services provide a safe place to store your passwords.

If your account has already been breached, do not hesitate to reach out to Hacked. We can restore hacked accounts and help you secure yourself against further attempts. Contact us here immediately.

Featured image by REUTERS & Pawel Kopczynski.

Author:
Aaron Weaver is the Head of Content for Hacked.com. He has over 15 years of journalism experience. As a tech-savvy editor and researcher, he prides himself on journalistic integrity by providing cutting edge data backed by the latest science.