Home Internet Beware of these 5 bad password habits — and how clean up...

Beware of these 5 bad password habits — and how clean up them up now


Yahoo Life, part of the Verizon Media family of brands, is committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. Some of the products written about here are offered in affiliation with Verizon Media. We may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

How secure are your passwords? Find out if you’re making these common password mistakes. (Photo: Getty)

Contrary to popular belief, passwords are not like shampoo instructions; we’re not supposed to rinse and repeat them all over the internet. In other words, you can’t use the same password for every account. But that’s no easy feat. According to Digital Guardian, the average email address is associated with 130 online accounts.

In a survey of 1,000 people, the website found a whopping 61 percent used the same password across multiple accounts. Watch out for these five bad password habits, and make sure you’re doing everything possible to protect your personal information.


Bad habit #1: You use the same password all over the internet

Come on. You know better. The riskiest practice you can put in place is this one. One (if not more) of your online accounts is likely to be exposed to massive breaches affecting consumer sites and services. That bad news? Likely, one of your passwords has already been stolen. The simplest website breach could expose all your online accounts if you use the same password across multiple sites.

LastPass Premium password generator makes it easy to create long and strong passwords. Moreover, the software does this for every account you use and creates a different password on each page. This means you’ll never lose your login details again. You can trust LastPass Premium to keep your passwords safe without thinking twice about it.

The LastPass Premium stack allows you to share passwords to gain better control over who has access to which accounts. You can also quickly edit or update passwords at any time. The secret sauce of LastPass Premium? It can help you have a faster and more secure shopping experience with usernames, passwords, and payment details that are filled in automatically. Even better, with LastPass Premium, you’ll enjoy an extra protection layer for your most sensitive accounts.

Shop it: Try LastPass Premium, part of Yahoo Plus Secure, risk-free for 30 days, subscriptions.yahoo.com.

You can make additional steps like setting up a text or email verification for your bank account to enhance security further. Think of it as a chastity belt for your bank account. Lockdown your passwords with LastPass Premium.

“The biggest danger of using the same password everywhere is that if someone can compromise your email account, they can then go and try every banking website, even if they don’t know which one you use, and just say “forgot password,” Christopher Rees security author at Pluralsight tells Yahoo Life.

“They can then have a reset link sent to your email address. At that point, they have your email address, so if they do that at 2:00 a.m., they could send a reset password link, click on it to reset your password, then go back into the email account and delete that original email — you’ll never know the email ever came.”

He says one of the best ways to beef up your passwords is by using a password manager. “Password managers are by far much more secure in that they allow us to use very complex non-human readable passwords, 24 characters or more in some cases, and they are different for every website.”

Bad habit #2: You never remember your password

Can you remember who played in the basketball playoffs in 2016 but can’t remember your password? Are you continually logging in through the “I forgot my password” link? Particularly with pages you visit only occasionally? It is unlikely that you will remember where all of your accounts are, how many you have on each website, or what username and password you register with. You are wasting time and disrupting productivity by not having a system in place.

Bad habit #3: You never update your passwords

Tell the truth. How long has it been since you changed the passwords for your email? What about social media? Or the passwords to your bank accounts? A strong password is as important as changing it regularly, especially if used on multiple accounts. If you don’t keep track of your passwords (ahem, see tip number 2 above), you won’t know when, if ever, they’ve been updated— or breached. Stop using easy-to-guess passwords and other tips for safer web use. (Photo: Getty)

Bad habit #4: You use passwords that are too short

It’s understandable. Afraid of remembering a too-long password, you go for something quick, with just seven or eight characters. What can go wrong? Turns out, plenty. The minimum suggested password length is 14 characters to be secure from password-cracking programs.

Bad habit #5: Keeping the same security question answers

Phishing attempts have gotten elusive and elaborate. Be careful: those online quizzes that ask you what year you were born or what street you lived on can store the information they’ve gathered to hack your security questions.

Look at these types of quizzes, surveys, and social media posts with a critical eye. “Many of these online surveys you have seen on… social media websites ask pretty much those exact questions. Ever wonder why?” Rees asks. “I’m assuming they’re compiling all of that information that can be used with other info, and over time get very detailed info on people that can be used to reset passwords, answer security questions on websites, email accounts, banking accounts, etc..” Be careful with the types of information you provide when playing quizzes on the internet. (Photo: Getty)

An easy way around this is on your security questions; provide non-sequitur answers only you will know the answer to. For example, your mother’s middle name can be the name of your favorite cartoon. The street you grew up on can be your favorite magazine. Decide how you’d like to answer instead of what questions are on your screen. So if some internet creeper DOES get access to your info, he can’t use them to hack into your accounts.

Shop it: Try LastPass Premium, part of Yahoo Plus Secure, risk-free for 30 days, subscriptions.yahoo.com.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered daily to your feed. Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle’s newsletter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here