If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it hundreds of times to so many people. Please don’t reuse your passwords! Whether it’s changing your existing password with some simple variation of the old one, or, more commonly, using the same password for almost every site, the reusing of passwords is actually one of the biggest issues when it comes to security risks to your online accounts.
In the course of what I’ve seen, a reused complex password is much more common than just multiple weak passwords. This means that so many of those users that had their account credentials stolen in breaches such the Yahoo or LinkedIn breaches, had their credentials to other online accounts compromised as well.
Bradley Barth, a senior reporter for SC Magazine recently published an article entitled, “Guessing passwords of targeted users easier than you think, warn researchers“. In this article based on an academic report, Barth reports that, “Researchers were successful at guessing an average user’s account password 73 percent of the time when they had at least some personally identifiable information on the victim, plus a ‘sister password’ that was used at another website and likely reused or modified elsewhere.”
The report this article is based on is just even more proof that when users do not follow even the most simple of password management strategies, they can and most likely will fall victim to some sort of online breach.
I implore you to please follow sound password management practices. For more specific information on these practices, see our post from September, Passwords! Passwords! Passwords! part 2.