Below, check out the risks of sharing your password with someone, and see some precautions you can take to preserve personal information.
Why is sharing passwords with others so bad?
At first glance, sharing your password with someone you trust may seem harmless. After all, what is the problem with sharing the password of a streaming service, for example, with a friend or family member? The problem is that you lose control over how your data is being used, and it can fall into the wrong hands.
A survey conducted in the United States by The Harris Poll Institute in partnership with Google showed that 66% of people reuse passwords in various records – and therein lies the danger. By giving access to a single password, you open a series of possibilities for use.
For example: suppose you shared your music app password with a friend via text message. If someone gets this information (whether it’s by stealing one of your cell phones, or by doing some phishing scam , for example), it will fall into the hands of a malicious person.
From there, the criminal can guess your password on other sites by trial and error – it can access your banking applications, an e-commerce site, a social network… With each invasion, he gains more and more information about you.
In other words: it doesn’t mean that the person with whom you shared the password will use it improperly. But if that person becomes vulnerable to attacks or security breaches, it is your information that will be at stake. Even if the password is not the same, the criminal can get more data to test (your birth date or people close to you, the name of a pet, etc).
The same goes for annotated passwords: never record information as important as this. The best way to ensure the protection of your information is to make sure you are the only person responsible for it.
What other precautions should I take with my password?
By paying attention when creating the password and taking care when storing it, you already avoid a good part of the headaches related to this subject.
Some of the most common attacks involving credential breaches are done by software that tests as many combinations as possible at very high speed until it breaks a password. Generally, these combinations are made from a leaked database available on the Internet – such as Collection #1 , which in 2019 exposed millions of emails and unique passwords that could be crossed for possible intrusions.
Nowadays, many websites and applications already impose retry limits for the user who misses a password. Even so, it is important to look for mechanisms and extra layers of protection to preserve yourself from possible invasions.
How to securely create and store passwords?
Take the following points into account when managing your passwords:
- Avoid number sequences like “123456” or “111111”, as well as simple words and obvious combinations such as your birthday. Credentials like these are very easy to discover and put your account at risk;
- Whenever possible, create a long password. Try to associate words that together form a meaningless sentence, such as pitangatirandentesdancarlift81 . Passwords like this are more difficult to break because some cyber attacks use content available on the internet to create millions of combinations to be tested. By applying the “trial and error” method, they may be able to discover your credentials. So, if your password is a totally meaningless phrase, it will be more difficult to break it;
- Never repeat the same password in more than one registration. The survey by the American institute found that each person has, on average, 27 entries that require a password. Therefore, if you use the same password for multiple registrations and it is broken, malicious people will have access to all your accounts at once;
- Never write down your password, neither on paper, nor on your cell phone’s notepad, much less in instant messaging apps. This practice also makes life easier for criminals and puts their information at risk;
- Use a password manager to store them in a secure and encrypted environment . Some managers can automatically create complex combinations for your entries, in addition to warning you if any of your passwords have been exposed on the Internet.