Your non-public passwords may very well be uncovered by these three easy errors

Some incredibly simple mistakes can easily put your most important online data in the hands of hackers. This is the latest intelligence from the McAfee security team, which has discovered that many of us are not following the most basic of rules about our online accounts. The results were released on the occasion of today’s World Password Day (May 6, 2021) and make for quite a terrifying read.

You probably already know that using the same password for multiple accounts is a terrible idea, and that creating a security code with details that anyone who knows you can easily guess – like birthdays or nicknames – is about as secure like a padlock with the key in it.

However, many of us continue to do this when we set up an account or try a new online service or app. We’re also terrible at changing a password when it’s chosen and the internet is at high risk of attack.

According to McAfee, more than a third of British people say they haven’t changed their password for a long time. Worst of all, 37 percent admitted that they reused the same or a similar password more than once, and 19 percent of people actually wrote their password on a piece of paper to make it easy to remember.

All of these can make it easy for hackers to access multiple devices with just a simple click. Another change that is easy to make and can make things better is to set up multi-factor authentication. This means accounts need an extra layer of security in order to be able to access them.

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Share password: Passwords should never be given to anyone, including trusted family members and friends. Sharing a password can lead to important personal information falling into the wrong hands. McAfee does not recommend this and encourages consumers to keep all passwords to themselves. More importantly, never share a password over text, email, or any other online communication channel.

Keep it impersonal: Passwords that contain personal information such as your name, address, or the name of your pet make it easier to guess. This is especially true when we share a lot of personal information online. However, you can use personal settings that are not known to create strong passphrases.

Never use passwords again: If you reuse passwords and someone guesses a password for an account, they might be able to use it to access others. This practice has become even more risky in recent years due to the high number of corporate data breaches. With just one hack, cyber criminals can get their hands on thousands of passwords that they can use to attempt access multiple accounts.

Use a password manager: If the thought of creating and managing complex passwords is overwhelming, outsource the work to a password manager. These are software programs that allow you to create random and complex passwords for each of your accounts and store them securely. This means there is no need to remember your passwords – you can simply rely on the password manager to enter them when needed.

Use multi-factor authentication: You can verify the authenticity of digital users and add an extra layer of security to protect personal data and information.

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