Reusing Passwords Threatens Your Business
Hello Busy People! I'm here to spread the word that re-using Passwords is much more trouble than it's worth. Most folks, in the moment of wanting to sign-up for a new service, are already annoyed with the sign-up process and suffering from decision fatigue. It's seems so easy to just use the same password you've used for other services. You might even think that it's fine because you have a super-complex, secure password.
But I'm here to tell you, it's not true. I'm sorry, I wish it were that easy. But this is what you're in for if you use the same username and/or password for multiple services:
Bad Password Scenarios
Scenario: You've signed up for LinkedIn using:
Then you used that same username and password at Facebook.com, MailChimp.com, Namecheap.com, Leadpages.com, Hootsuite, and Twitter.com because those are all business-related and it seemed easier to keep track of.
And maybe you also have personal accounts where you've also used the same password (for Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Comcast, Pinterest, Yahoo, Shutterstock, the gas company, libraries, the electric company, the water company, all of your banks, etc.)
By the way, you have MANY more logins than you realize. Every site you've ever bought a gift from, or clothes from, ordered services from, pay money to, and so on. Today I have 255 logins, and that is not including all of my client accounts.
What you may not realize is that hacking is a REALLY efficient industry. The moment your username and password is compromised on one site, it's almost immediately released into a computerized mechanism for the sole purpose of spreading that information and enabling computerized systems to refine and improve the success of hacking attempts.
Meaning, the moment that your information is compromised on one system, that same data is effectively compromised EVERYWHERE you've used it.
Checklist for Handling Stolen Passwords
So now, this is what you're in for at EVERY SITE where you've used that username and/or password:
- Visit each web site
- Find the Login button
- Lookup your username and password to login
- Login to the site
- Locate the link for your "account" or "profile" or "settings"
- Figure out how they've labeled the option where you're allowed to change your username and password (and in some cases, discover that not every site allows you to change your username and/or password on the web site)
- Think up or construct a new username and/or password
- Enter the username and/or password and hope that it follows all of the "rules" that particular site enforces for new usernames and passwords.
- Save/Confirm your new username and/or password.
That's going to take at LEAST 5 minutes, possibly closer to 7, and that's assuming that every thing goes as planned.
So let's say you have 20 logins (and honestly, you have at least 5 times that many), that's over 90 minutes spent on updating your username and/or password, which is the definition of drudgery. There is nothing fun or entertaining about that exercise, and Murphy's Law dictates it will likely happen at the least convenient time. Most importantly: it's TOTALLY AVOIDABLE.
Save Future You from Password Chaos
So, do Future-You the favor of making your usernames and passwords unique. Save Future-You the stress, hassle, and drudgery of having to reset dozens (if not hundreds) of accounts.
You can make things super-easy on yourself by using a Password Manager, like 1Password. 1Password will memorize account logins, generate secure passwords, track credit cards, manage software licenses, and keep secure notes.
Its automatic system easily and securely logs into your accounts directly from your web browser. It will identify any logins with week or duplicate passwords. It syncs between your devices (computer, smartphone, tablet) so all of your data is with you at all times.
It includes a service to notify you of any known site vulnerabilities, and what sites need new passwords. If you need to change a password, 1Password will update the login record.
The only password you ever need to keep track of is the secure passphrase assigned to the 1Password vault. Check it out today at: https://1password.com
If you have questions, or need help,let me know! [Ask Andrea]