10 Common Password Mistakes to Avoid

Investing in online safety and creating a strong password defense are more than mere game-plans; they are an insurance against the lurking dangers of cybercrime
on 2024-03-25 | 
Reading Time: 11 minutes

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Investing in online safety and creating a strong password defense are more than mere game-plans; they are an insurance against the lurking dangers of cyber threats. It is noteworthy that password strategies delve deeper than mere words and digits—they encompass constructions that strike a balance between complexity and memorability. The following sections will enlighten readers about the potential pitfalls of reusing passwords, tips to strengthen your virtual fortress, and insights into unique practices to outsmart emerging cyber threats.

  • Understanding the hazards of password redundancy
  • Thwarting identity theft through strategic password crafting
  • Dangers of including personal details in passwords
  • Discouraging conventional personal data usage for passwords
  • Counteracting phishing attacks with robust passwords
  • Importance of regular software updates in safeguarding login credentials
  • Effectiveness of longer-than-average (10+) character strings in password creation
  • Mixing alphanumeric characters and symbols—your secret ingredient for superior protection

1 – Keep Away From the Accidental Pitfall of Reusing Passwords

The Perils Associated With Similar Password Usage Across Different Platforms

Complacency is the bigger villain when it comes to password security. Two-thirds of internet users fall into this trap by reusing the same password for multiple accounts. Credential stuffing is a real menace where cybercriminals indulge in an all-you-can-eat access fest of your accounts.

The Negligent Effect of Repeated Passwords on Security Measures

Simply rotating characters or adding superficial modifications to your eternal password doesn’t make it secure. These adversaries can crack this facade faster than you can boil an egg.

Guarding Against Identity Theft Originating From Password Redundancy

To prevent your identity from being stolen faster than candy from a baby, avoid using similar passwords across multiple platforms like it’s the plague. Password managers come equipped with an integrated random password generator to lock and load unique credentials.


2 – Don’t Make the Blunder of Using Personal Info: Crucial Password Tips

Unwrapping the dangers tied to personal information in passwords

Avoid using personal information in passwords; it’s as risky as juggling knives. Names or birthdates are easily discovered and attract cybercriminals.

Identifying conventional personal data misused in making passwords

Here’s something that might sound odd: reusing basic personal information like pet names or home addresses for creating passwords is akin to leaving your keys under the mat. 6 characters long though they may be, these passwords have the vulnerability of a house of cards. Why not take an extra step of precaution and lightly salt it with combinations of numbers, symbols, and both upper and lowercase letters?

Facing the music: data breach aftermath of personal info in passwords

If your password security falls, there goes your shield! The fallout can be disastrous and have a snowball effect on your digital protection. Pro tip: use varied combinations instead of falling back to readily available personal information.


3 – Beware of vulnerabilities in password-based logins

Wading through common pitfalls in password-based login systems

Epic vulnerabilities in password-based logins include brute force attacks (no Arnold Schwarzenegger involved) where cybercriminals conduct a trial by combat to crack passwords. Credential stuffing and dictionary attacks are also alarming practices which make the cyber landscape treacherous.

How to conquer phishing attack threats with robust passwords

To rout attempts at fishing for sensitive data or planting malware, set up multi-factor authentication when creating robust random passwords. This tactic comes armed with unique identifiers and response codes that act as a bulwark against intruders.

Regular software updates as weapons for ensuring login safety

This might surprise you: update prompts aren’t there to traumatize you, they are life-savers. Regular software updates breathe new life into safeguarding your login credentials by bolstering them against persistent threats lurking around dark corners of the Internet.

Common Pitfalls in Password-Based LoginsDefense Strategies
Brute force attacks– Use strong, random passwords

– Enable multi-factor authentication

Credential stuffing– Set up unique identifiers and response codes

– Implement multi-factor authentication

Dictionary attacks– Avoid common words or phrases in passwords

– Use a password manager for random and secure passwords


4 – Why longer is indeed stronger – the fundamental reason behind choosing 10-characters long passwords

Scrutinizing the bond between lengthy passwords and amplified security

How long is long? A password length of 16 characters or more acts like an invulnerable fortress. This heightened security rivals the Great Wall of China with a potency that keeps adversaries at bay.

Unfolding the craft behind passwords that are challenging to decipher yet easy to remember

The art and science of creating unique, good passwords draw from turning ordinary tidbits into extraordinary keys. For instance, incorporating the first letter of each word from an obscure song lyric, sprinkling it with symbolic and numerical confetti, results in a 14-characters password shield of invincibility.

Championing passwords above 10-characters for blocking brute force attacks

This is your silver bullet against brute-force attacks: opt for a shield-like password that’s longer than ten characters. Why settle for just “good” when you can have “best”? Not only is it harder to crack, but it also makes a cybercriminal’s mission as futile as finding a needle in a haystack.


5 – Top Password Tips for Achieving Greater Safety and Security Online

Effective Strategies for Fabricating Impregnable Passwords and Their Effect on Online Security

Surprise! Here are some secret ingredients – uniqueness and complexity – to create a strong password concoction. Using different passwords for each account deliciously serves your purpose of maintaining an ironclad online defense. Don’t forget the most exotic spice: a secure password manager for seamless storage and management.

The Role of Unpredictable Combinations in Securing Online Realms

Let your creative spirit run wild when conjuring up an unguessable cocktail of characters for your password. It adds a tinge of unpredictability and mystery that leaves potential infiltrators eating dust. Furthermore, online password managers provide you with trustworthy allies to ensure the randomness of combinations.

Keep Common Words or Phrases at Arm’s Length During Password Creation

Avoiding common words or phrases in password creation is more critical than not wearing shoes to climb Everest. With dictionaries available at their fingertips, cyber prowlers can guess your password faster than you can microwave popcorn. Contrive a password worthy of a Da Vinci Code to mystify and confound these wannabe cryptographers.








6 – The dangers of changing passwords with only a single character

Minor tweaks to your password don’t considerably enhance its security

Minor changes to your password, such as replacing ‘a’ with ‘@,’ might give you the illusion of strength, but just don’t cut it. A hacker using a dictionary attack can crack such passwords faster than you can say “password security”.

Significant variations in your password boost its security

By contrast, significant overhauls to your password can indeed increase its strength. Here’s why: they add complexity that’s hard for dictionary attacks to decipher, making your password tougher than an encrypted vault.

Overcoming the false sense of safety with minor password modifications

Even with minor changes, you’d think you have a good password, right? But that’s an illusion better avoided. Instead, favor using a secure password generator or consider embracing the vast capabilities of a secure password manager (or even a company password manager if you’re in business!)








7 – The Importance of Regular Password Updates

Regular password updates are critical for defending against cyber threats

Keeping your passwords updated like software patches is crucial against cyber threats. By frequently shifting the sands under hackers’ feet, they have no steady ground to execute their attacks – taking good passwords to great ones.

The potential danger of sticking with a single password for too long

Using one single “uncrackable” fortress of a password is rolling out the red carpet for hackers. They have all the time in the world to crack it open. So unless your one-and-done masterpiece contains more varied alphanumeric characters than there are atoms in the universe, mix it up regularly.

Following guidelines when updating your passwords regularly is crucial

When updating passwords, they should be hard-to-crack (think strong passwords), but easy to remember. A smart move would be to employ a password manager – that’s what password managers can be for updating passwords.


8 – Tips to Strategize Your Password Game – Mixing Characters and Symbols

Combining alphanumeric characters is a strategic move when creating passwords

Mixing alphanumeric characters adds more variety to your password palette. It’s like building your castle with stones instead of sand – much harder for hackers to tear down.

Symbols increase the strength of your passwords

Symbols are the special forces in your password army, striking fear into the hearts of bruteforce attacks. Adding them along with alphanumeric characters could be one of the best password tips out there.

Passwords with mixed characters are instrumental in fending off hacking attempts

Creating a strong password with mixed characters is like casting a magic spell against hackers, baffling their algorithms and leaving them clawing at walls. This is where employing an online password manager can come in handy, practically being a workshop where you can craft and store these magical incantations.


9 – Create the Perfect Balancing Act: Easy-to-Remember, Tough-to-Crack Passwords

Techniques exist for creating robust yet easily recallable passwords

Creating robust yet memorable passwords isn’t rocket science. You could start off with a phrase that means something to you, and then convert it into a quirky alphanumeric blend (think strong password examples). Now you have a blend that’s easy to remember and hard on hackers.

A balance between complex and easy-to-remember passwords is critical

Finding that golden middle between complexity and memorability is like walking a tightrope, but it’s absolutely necessary. Too simple, you’re an easy target; too complex, you might as well hire a personal assistant to remember them. The key is finding balance.

Passphrases are a powerful alternative to passwords

In comes the superhero of password land – the passphrase. Passphrases are even easier to remember (think childhood memories) and offer a higher level of protection against bruteforce attacks compared to normal passwords.








10 – How regularly changing passwords can boost your online security

Changing your password frequently boosts your security

Frequently altering your password is like having a shape-shifting security guard that confounds intruders. It’s one of the most effective moves in your arsenal, making you a moving target instead of a sitting duck.

Regular password changes keep you ahead of cyber criminals

Regularly changing your password is your ticket to staying ahead of the cyber underworld. It adds an unpredictable element into the equation – one that keeps hackers continually guessing and fighting shadows.

Understanding the risks of not changing passwords regularly leads to important precautions

Not updating regularly? Be ready for a cyber storm! But worry not, precautionary steps such as using an online password manager can provide cover, reminding you about password updates and generating hard nuts for hackers to crack.

Conceiving the Aegis of Cyber Defense: Strategic Password Crafting

Crafting a strong password scares off threat actors roaming the wilds of cyberspace, all while ensuring your peace of mind. Whether you’re concocting complex alphanumeric combinations or upgrading securities through regular software updates, every step you take towards strengthening your virtual echelon matters. From adequate measures like abandoning personal information in your code mix to adopting long-form passphrases rather than sticky-notes under your keyboard – these strategies bode well for forging an impregnable defense line.
However, remember: just as metals need frequent hammering to shape into useful tools, neglecting regular changes can render even the strongest passwords vulnerable over time. It’s thus critical not only to churn out tough-to-crack codes but also keep them dynamic via periodic alterations. To smoothen this process further, enter fairytale allies like secure password managers – secure havens where you can craft, store, and manage your “key” collection better than any iron-bank vault. As long as you are vigilant about your protective mechanisms, it’s goodbye to “harvest seasons” of cyber prowlers and hello to a safe, secure digital existence.

Password Strengthening Tips

These tips are all based on common password mistakes we see people make in our Mesa computer repair shop, especially when doing managed IT services for businesses. When we do password audits, we’re often mortified by the sheer lack of thought put into how secure a password is. Take these tips into heavy consideration to ensure your passwords are safeguaraded against brute-force attacks:

  • Don’t use passwords that can be constructed using information found on your social media profiles.
    • Examples include:
      • Pet names
        • BAD Password Example: IloveCoco97
      • School mascots
        • BAD Password Example: GoBobcats2021!
      • Important anniversary dates, like the year you graduated, year you got married, etc
        • BAD Password Example: #KellyIsMyWife2024
        • BAD Password Example: WeHadTwinsIn2022
      • Vehicle makes and models
        • BAD Password Example: ’76ChevyCorvette
      • Spouse or Kids names, or the number of children you have
        • BAD Password Example: 2Kids3Grandkids!
  • Don’t use passwords with your business name in it. Seriously, this shouldn’t be happening anywhere and it’s one of the most common mistakes we see businesses do. Don’t even use things RELATED to your business in your password!
    • Examples include:
      • Property Management:
        • BAD Password Example: AcmeCRE2024!
        • BAD Password Example: RealEstateMogul2020
      • Medical Industry:
        • Dentistry:
          • BAD Password Example: BleedingGumsMurphy
          • BAD Password Example: DentalFloss
        • Optometry / Optician:
          • BAD Password Example: Lenses1
          • BAD Password Example: CanYouSeeTheE?
      • Manufacturing:
        • BAD Password Example: OurProductsRock!
      • Legal:
        • BAD Password Example: AcmeLaw2020
      • Finance:
        • BAD Password Example: 10%YOYGains!
  • Don’t use passwords shorter than 12 characters. We recommend a minimum of 16 character passwords where allowed. The reason for this is because brute-force and dictionary attacks have escalated to the point where several million passwords can be tried in a matter of hours, thanks to bot networks attacking the same account simultaneously.
  • DO use passphrases that are long and easy to remember.
    • GOOD Passphrase Example: “MyMomIsTheMostAmazingWomanIn2024” would take 1 duodecillion years to brute force, yet it’s super easy to remember because it’s true (for us).
    • GOOD Passphrase Example: “MyAerospaceBusinessWasEstablishedin2010!” would take 2 octodecillion years to brute force
  • DO leverage multiple languages if you’re multi-lingual
    • GOOD Passphrase Example: “MiCasaEsSuCasa=MyHouseIsYourHouse” would take 40 quindecillion years to crack.
    • GOOD Passphrase Example: “Gutentag=GoodDayInGerman” would take 53 septillion years to brute force.
  • DO ensure your email hasn’t been leaked recently. You can do so here: https://haveibeenpwned.com
  • DO audit the login activity on your accounts, frequently. Most online services such as banking institutions, email providers, social media providers, and other web-based services allow you to see where your account has been logged into recently. If you suspect your account has been breached, get them secured with new passwords immediately.
  • DO change your passwords if you see suspicious login activity on one of your accounts.
    • Ensure your computers, tablets, and phones are free of viruses before going through the motions of updating all your passwords. Changing your passwords won’t do you any good if your digital devices have a keylogger trojan on them, for example.


Where can I test the strength of my password?

Check out https://www.security.org/how-secure-is-my-password/ to see how your password holds up against a brute-force attack. Our passwords would take at least 1 trillion years to crack, how about yours?

What are some of the common mistakes people make with passwords?

People often reuse the same password across multiple platforms, include personal information in their passwords, or modify a single character of their existing password in thinking it will enhance security. This is like handing over your treasure map to pirates—they sail straight into your fort.

How can personal info in passwords harm me?

When you incorporate easily accessible personal details like birthdays or pet names into your password mix, it acts as a welcome banner for threat actors who are just a click away from these details. It’s more inviting than bees flocking honey.

Why is it important to have long and random passwords?

Longer and random strings challenge the decryption capabilities of cyber-attackers. You’re proposing them with a labyrinth that’s harder to navigate. Such credentials do not succumb easily and disrupt brute force attacks at their core.

How can I remember complex passwords?

Balance is key when designing strong yet rememberable codes. Consider using memorable phrases—like song lyrics—and convert them into unique alphanumeric combinations by incorporating numbers & symbols within it.

What role can regular changes play in my online security?

Frequent password alterations keep cyber adversaries on their toes—it’s like changing locks regularly while burglars keep returning with old keys. It’s your ticket to stay one step ahead in this game of codes saving yourself from being an easy target .

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About the Author: Mark Bush

Mark Bush is the CEO of RAD Computers. He's personally fixed over 10,000 computers since 2001. He created RAD Computers in 2010 and added Managed IT Services for businesses in 2018. He developed RAD Computers to over 700 5-star reviews using his expertise. His key to success is educating people about computer repair, maintenance, and security.

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Mark Bush

Mark Bush is the CEO of RAD Computers. He's personally fixed over 10,000 computers since 2001. He created RAD Computers in 2010 and added Managed IT Services for businesses in 2018. He developed RAD Computers to over 700 5-star reviews using his expertise. His key to success is educating people about computer repair, maintenance, and security.