When it comes to managing passwords, there are several practices you should avoid to maintain good security hygiene. Here’s a list of things you shouldn’t do with passwords:
- Don’t use weak passwords: Avoid using easily guessable passwords like “password,” “123456,” or common dictionary words. Weak passwords are more vulnerable to brute-force attacks.
- Don’t reuse passwords: Using the same password for multiple accounts is risky because if one account gets compromised, all your other accounts with the same password become vulnerable.
- Don’t share passwords: Never share your passwords with anyone, including friends or family members. Passwords are personal and should be kept confidential.
- Don’t write passwords down: Avoid writing passwords on sticky notes, in notebooks, or anywhere else that’s easily accessible to others. If you must write them down, store them in a secure and discreet location.
- Don’t store passwords in plain text: Don’t store passwords in plain text files on your computer or in unencrypted notes on your smartphone. Use a secure password manager to store and manage your passwords.
- Don’t use easily discoverable personal information: Avoid using information like your name, birthdate, or other easily discoverable details in your passwords, as these can be exploited by attackers who know you.
- Don’t fall for phishing scams: Be cautious of email or website links asking for your password. Verify the legitimacy of the request before entering your password.
- Don’t ignore software updates: Keep your operating system, web browsers, and password management software up to date. Updates often include security fixes that protect against known vulnerabilities.
- Don’t rely solely on security questions: Security questions can be a weak link in your account security. Choose answers that are not easily guessable and consider using a password manager to generate and store these answers.
- Don’t use the “Remember Password” feature on public computers: If you use a public computer or device, avoid saving passwords in the browser or using the “Remember Password” feature. Always log out and clear your browsing history after use.
- Don’t ignore two-factor authentication (2FA): Whenever possible, enable 2FA for your accounts. It adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second verification step in addition to your password.
- Don’t neglect password rotation: Periodically change your passwords, especially for critical accounts. Regularly updating your passwords can help mitigate the risk of long-term exposure.
- Don’t use easily guessable patterns: Avoid using patterns like “1234,” “abcd,” or keyboard sequences like “qwerty” as your password.
- Don’t assume you’re immune to attacks: Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving. Stay informed about new security risks and best practices to protect your accounts.
- Don’t use the same security questions across multiple accounts: If you’re required to answer security questions, avoid using the same set of questions and answers for different accounts. Diversify your responses.
By following these guidelines and practicing good password management habits, you can significantly enhance the security of your online accounts and protect your personal information from unauthorized access.