Earlier this month Mark Zuckerberg’s LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter accounts were briefly hacked. It seems that he made the same mistake that many people do online: he used the same password across his social media accounts. Once a hacker got hold of his password for one account, they were able to log in to his other accounts. Ouch.
Use different passwords for different accounts
You may claim that your password is hard to guess and complex. That’s great, but hackers can get access to it through larger data breaches where they get all the login accounts for a particular site. For example, LinkedIn was hacked in 2012 and passwords for nearly 6.5 million user accounts were stolen by Russian cybercriminals. So having one complex password is not sufficient.
To check if your login information has ever been hacked, go to Have I Been Pwned and enter your email address, or login username. The site will tell you if your user credentials were involved in any data breaches. If they were, it’s highly recommended that you change your password. ASAP.
How to remember all these passwords
So how do you remember different passwords for different sites? Many recommend using password management tools like LastPass or 1Password. Personally, I don’t feel comfortable using these tools because everything is hackable, and if someone were to hack my account in one of these tools, they’d have the logins to all my accounts around the web. Scary. And in fact, LastPass has been breached. So…this might not be the best solution.
There are various techniques for creating memorable, unique passwords for your different accounts. For example, here’s one solution that involves creating a unique core password that you can remember, and adding the name of the service to that password. You can search online for terms like “remembering different passwords” and the like to see more techniques.
Bottom line: don’t be like Mark Zuckerberg, and use different passwords!!
Watch this whole tutorial and tip as a video:
Web tip of the day: use different passwords for your online accounts!
Posted by Miriam Schwab on Monday, June 13, 2016