6 Password Pitfalls To Avoid

Written By Alla Levin
October 10, 2023

When it comes to setting strong passwords, there are a few common mistakes that people make. Below are 6 of the most common password pitfalls. 

6 Password Pitfalls To Avoid: Using passwords that are too basic

Many of us use basic passwords because they are more memorable. However, such passwords are more accessible to crack. Did you know that passwords that only use numbers of less than ten characters can be cracked instantly in most brute-force password attacks?

Upping your password to 12 characters and using a mixture of numbers, symbols, and letters (uppercase and lowercase) could make a brute-force attack almost impossible. This password strength guide has a helpful infographic on the subject.

Using passwords that are too complex

A password that is too complex could be too hard to remember or too easy to mistype. This is why many security experts recommend setting strong but memorable passwords. This post offers some tips on coming up with strong but memorable passwords, such as using a quote from a book with the page number or reversing a memorable phrase. A password manager can also help with memorability (more of that later). 

Using the same password for every account

Using the same password for every account is dangerous because if a cybercriminal cracks the password to one of your accounts, they have access to all of your funds. Try to use different password variations for other versions. You can make small changes to a base password if you don’t want to remember multiple completely different passwords. 

Not changing passwords regularly

There have been many instances where vast swathes of passwords have been leaked onto the dark web and put up for sale. Most people don’t realize that their password is already available to cybercriminals. Changing passwords regularly can ensure that any leaked passwords are unusable. 

Keeping passwords on public display

You should never write passwords on sticky notes and stick them to your computer. Similarly, if you run a business, you should never print out password lists and pin them to a wall somewhere public. You could be in big trouble if the wrong person sees this password information. 

Thinking a password is enough

A strong password will prevent many cyberattacks, but it is not enough to contain them. The likes of two-factor authentication can add an extra barrier – this includes sending a unique PIN to your email address/phone number or using facial recognition on top of a password.

Companies are always advised to outsource managed cyber security and backup files on the cloud to prevent further cyberattacks. Using up-to-date security software with firewalls and alerts is also essential. 

Password Pitfalls to Avoid: Conclusion

There is a lot to consider when setting solid passwords. Many people find that password managers can help – these software tools can create new passwords, store password information securely in one place, and auto-fill passwords for you. Using other tools and software is also recommended. 

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