Stop recycling your passwords

Rens van Dongen
Feb 24 · 2 min read

Pollution is real. Do recycle in the real world, just don’t do it online!

Don’t be funky

Securing your online accounts might work differently than you think. For passwords, we’ve all been told to use capitals and funky characters, right? That usually ends up like “i<3cats$”… or “SuperS3cr!t”. And because these passwords are difficult to remember, we apply it to email, and that one newspaper, and why not to our bank account as well. That’s password recycling and that is bad. Let me explain why.

Not all systems are created equal

In today’s world, hackers won’t directly hack your computer. They hack online systems, such as that one newspaper. It happens practically every day. Your bank will usually secure against this quite alright. But if the paper loses your password, hackers can now automatically try that password on your bank account, or your email. That’s why you need different passwords for everything.

Go long

You may forget about those silly funky characters. These are bad passwords anyway. Just make them loooong, like “asentencewhichsoundsnatural”. And diversify them for every site you use. Then, use a password manager to remember all of them. Usually, a basic password manager already lives in your browser and mobile phone, but better yet to pick a dedicated one, like Dashlane. Because the best passwords are those that you actually can’t remember, because you shouldn’t even try.

Learn more

Check out Five tips for creating your strong and memorable password

Rens van Dongen

Written by

Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at iWelcome

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