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Creating a password is the standard process when creating an account, whether online or offline. But reusing one password has become a common occurrence to simplify remembering the login for each account. 

Studies show that 59% of people admit to using the same passwords for everything. In comparison, 62% of individuals confess to using their personal passwords even at work, highlighting poor password hygiene. 

To generate a strong password, security professionals suggest that it be at least 12 characters long, consisting of unique characters and a combination of numbers and letters. They also strongly advise against password reuse. The idea is to think of passwords that don’t make sense and remember them. 

Passwords continue to be a weak link and source of various cybersecurity vulnerabilities like hacking. Using the same passwords allows malicious agents to access those accounts with a single source of characters, leading to fraudulent and phishing attacks. In the U.S. alone, there has been a 68% increase in the recorded number of data compromises since 2020. 

The Dangers of Using Reusing Passwords for Different Accounts

Reusing passwords or doing a one-password login is an unsafe practice. Below are some of the reasons why:

1. It can compromise your accounts

According to studies, an average person has about 100 passwords to handle. This increased by 25% between 2019 and 2020, when the average was 70 to 80. It’s understandable to reuse passwords for easier access, however this also puts yourself at a greater risk of your credentials being compromised, providing unwanted access to your accounts. 

2. It makes you susceptible to data breaches

The more you reuse your passwords, the more vulnerable your data and money are to be stolen. In a 2021 data breach report by International Business Machines (IBM) Security, the average data breach costs increased from $3.86 million in 2020 to $4.24 million in 2021. 

With organizations across all sectors experiencing an increase in remote working, the attack rates have also increased the average damage by $1.07 million. The healthcare industry experienced the greatest impact in these data breaches, where the total cost reached $9.23 million in 2021, a 29.5% increase from previous years.

3. It makes you prone to password cracking

Password cracking refers to recovering secret passwords in a computer system or over a network where hackers use various programmatic methods and automation via specialized tools. 

Since reusing passwords is common, password cracking for hackers has become easy. As people often don’t opt for stronger, but harder to remember, passwords, these malicious agents can easily increase their password database and discover more unique passwords that can be used for future attacks. 

4. It puts corporate accounts at risk

The prevalence of reusing passwords worldwide makes it easier for malicious agents to breach corporate accounts swiftly. High-profile attacks exposed thousands and millions of users’ passwords and caused companies across all sectors significant losses and inconveniences while compromising their businesses’ continuity.

Best Practices When Managing Multiple Accounts

We discussed the risks of reusing passwords, below are some of the ways to protect your login credentials and how you can manage them securely: 

1. Change default passwords

Although default passwords like 12345 and admin are convenient, they’re also the first choice of most hackers trying to access your accounts. To avoid this, make it a habit to change your default passwords immediately. Try using a passphrase if you tend to forget your passwords. 

2. Establish password policy 

Statistics show that only 19% of people are cautious with their work login details. Organizations must establish password policies and provide employees with password management training and refreshers to avoid reusing passwords that lead to data breaches.

Remember that establishing password awareness and good digital hygiene is critical to ensure your corporate network’s security can prevent fraud

3. Use single sign-on login to different accounts

A single sign-on login is a session and a user authentication service that allows users to use one set of login authorizations to access different accounts. 

Users can utilize one account via single sign-on to log onto other channels, decreasing the need to make different passwords. It makes users less likely to repeat inputting their passwords, improving their overall account security. 

4. Utilize a password manager

Password managers are browsers or apps where users can safely store their login information without remembering each of them. This solution enables users to use strong and unique passwords for their important accounts.

These platforms are also helpful because they can sync passwords across multiple devices, help spot sham websites, and notify users should their stored passwords appear in a known data breach. 

5. Use multi-factor authentication

Two-factor and multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions make it difficult for malicious agents to have unauthorized access to your accounts. Because MFA usually includes a biometric scan, secret codes, or one-time passwords (OTP) delivered to a user’s text inbox, it acts as an additional layer of security beyond the usual username and password logins. 

Reusing Passwords Defeats Its Purpose

In recent years, 19% of all data breaches have resulted from compromised accounts and credentials, and one of the leading causes of these is the rampant reusing of passwords. This practice defeats the purpose of securing your data and sensitive information. 

Improve your data security measures and keep your accounts safe by applying these practices and integrating solutions on identity and access management and passwordless authentication.

Invest in password security to steer clear of cybersecurity threats. Q5id offers an executive team of experts bringing professional services to the world’s leading identity, security, and technology companies.

Contact us to learn more about our authentication services and how you can keep your data secure today.

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