10 Password Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

As a Mac and PC repair company, when it comes to password mistakes, we’ve seen it all!  From people using “password” to log into their investment account, to people giving their email password to a hacker who calls them on the phone. (“But he sounded like a such a nice guy!”)

Here are 10 password mistakes you don’t want to make when logging into an account on the internet.

password mistakes

  1. Don’t share your password with anyone.  If someone needs to log into one of your accounts to fix something, make sure you trust them.  And when they’re done, change your password on that account right away!
  2. Don’t save your passwords in the “cloud”.  There have been a lot of hacking attempts, and corporations are not always as careful with your data as they should be.  In fact, we’ve had two customers who have lost access to their password account.  One of them needed to log into ALL of her accounts and change the password on each one! I keep all of my passwords in an Excel spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet is on my computer, which has a pretty secure password, and the file itself is password protected with a 12 character phrase.
  3. Don’t keep a written list of your passwords next to your computer. (…or under your keyboard, or taped to your wall…)
  4. Don’t keep a written list in your planner (aka calendar) or phone book.
  5. Don’t auto-save passwords on your browser.  This is the same logic as saving passwords in the cloud.  Yes, it’s a pain to have to type it in each time, but corporations like Google and even Firefox don’t always follow great processes to keep your information secure.
  6. Don’t use sequential numbers or letters, like “111111” or “12345678” or “qwertyuiop” or “abcdefgh”. Click to receive our Guide on creating a secure AND easy-to-remember Password.password mistakes
  7. Don’t use something easy to guess like “password”.  Every year top security companies look to see which are the most commonly used passwords.  (“Password” has always been in the top 5.)  Wikipedia published this list in 2018. Make sure your password isn’t on this list!
  8. Don’t use a password that’s under six characters.  The longer your password is, the better.  In 2017, it took four hours to crack a simple eight-character password and 200 years to crack a simple 12 character password.  In 2019, with computer speeds ever-improving, those times will be shorter. Take a look at this infographic for more details.password mistakes
  9. Don’t use your name or your birthday, or any personal information.
  10. Don’t use your mother’s maiden name. In the last century, most women were married and took their husband’s name.  In 2019, that’s all changed.  Along with other personal information, figuring out your mom’s last name is pretty easy.  Just take a look at one of your Facebook acquaintances for a few minutes. You’ll be able to figure out their mom’s name as well as other personal information in no time at all.

Which of these password mistakes have you made?  Are there others I should have included?  Let me know in the comments below!

Please share this with your brother-in-law, who is making these password mistakes!

Information about Geek For Hire, Inc.

I’ve created a Free Report on what to look for to protect yourself from “phishing” scams. Click here to receive it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PCs for the past eighteen years. Angie’s List and the BBB rate Geek For Hire very highly.  You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3 support) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free and fast shipping.  With Prime, we have access to online streaming too. Prime is usually $119/year, but you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Year End Technology Tips

It’s the end of the year.  Here are some Technology Tips of things that you should be doing!Technology Tips - Check your wifi speed

Check Your WiFi Speed

Are you getting what you’re paying for? First, using your smartphone or on your computer, head over to SpeedTest. Then click on “Begin Test”. Have you signed up for the 10 Mbps plan but you’re only getting 6?   Plug your computer directly to your router, then check it again.  Sometimes there is a degradation of speed through the walls of your home.  If it’s still below your threshold, check it again over the next few days, keeping a log.  If your WiFi speed is consistently under your contracted speed (while plugged into the router), call your ISP. Tell them about your findings, then ask them to fix the issue AND request a refund for the time when they weren’t providing you with the contracted bandwidth.

Back Up Your Data

Yes, you probably should be doing this monthly.  So, make the geeks happy and at least do it at the end of the year.  As a result, if your hard drive happens to crash, you’ll at least have the one backup.

Change Your Password

First of all, take the time to change your password on all of your banking sites. Then, change the password on your social media sites. Finally, change the password on all of the other sites that you regularly log in to. I recently wrote a blog on creating a good secure password.  You can find that here. (But, yes, you probably should be changing your passwords more frequently than once a year!)

Organize Your Files

Organize your photos by year and month.  First of all, under your “My Photos” or “Camera Uploads” file, create a new folder for 2016.  Then under that folder, create twelve more folders, one for each month.  Next, select all the photos you took last January, drag and drop them into the January folder.  Then, do that for each month.  If you’re on a roll, or have time to kill, do the same for photos you took in 2015, 2014, and so on.  It makes it much easier to look for the photos of your vacation in the June 2015 folder, than to search through one massive folder for those photos. For more info on organizing your files, check this blog I wrote last year.

Were these Technology Tips helpful? What else do you do at the end of the year?

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fourteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more at http://www.GeekForHireInc.com  Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area and remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I will try the Kindle lending library next. Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)

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