Reusing passwords is a risky business
Wednesday, September 14, 2016/
If you’re using the same password for multiple online services then you might be handing hackers the keys to your business.
Coming up with a new password each time you sign up for a new service can be a hassle, but not as much of a hassle as dealing with a digital break-in.
If you’re using the same password over and over then you’re increasing the chances of a single security breach granting hackers access to all your accounts.
For example, LinkedIn suffered a major security breach back in 2012, which saw millions of email addresses and passwords revealed. You might not be too concerned about hackers sneaking into your LinkedIn account, but hackers rely on the fact that people are lazy.
When hackers get their hands on something like that LinkedIn list, the first thing they do is try those passwords elsewhere. The situation becomes a lot more serious if you’ve used the same login and password for cloud storage services like Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive or Apple’s iCloud.
Google, Microsoft and Apple might take better security precautions than LinkedIn did back in 2012, but their stronger security doesn’t count for much if you’ve used the same password.
Now hackers can waltz right into your cloud storage account and rummage through sensitive business documents, all because you didn’t take the time to think up a unique password.
It’s true that two-factor authentication can help in this situation, presenting an extra hurdle for hackers even if they know your login and password. Unfortunately two-factor authentication isn’t foolproof.
Hackers targeting businesses have even been known to hijack mobile phone accounts, porting your number to a different telco just so they can intercept your two-factor SMS codes and break into your online accounts.
If you haven’t changed your passwords for a while it’s worth undertaking a quick security audit to check whether your older passwords are still up to scratch and whether you’ve reused a few important passwords along the way. Don’t make life easier for hackers by relying on one password to unlock your entire business.
Anthony Hill is the Head of Technology at Geeks2U, a national on-site computer repair and tech support company.
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