Change Your Password Into Passwords
Wednesday, 6th June 2012
There are rumours abroad today that LinkedIn has been hacked and everybody is panicking that their password has been compromised. For those who are already "in the know", this means you'll hop onto LinkedIn and change your password.
If you aren't in the know, let me enlighten you - because you have a much bigger task ahead of you.
Let's pretend LinkedIn really have been hacked and six million passwords have been nicked (by the way, this has actually happened). If they have your email address and password, how many other websites will that combination work for? Did you use the same password for Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail or Hotmail? If so, you need to know that your email and password is going to be re-played on these, and many more if someone gets hold of them.
So your task, if your email address and password is currently the same on multiple websites, is to change all your passwords to make them unique.
What if you can't be bothered? Once someone has got into one or two of your accounts, it is a trivial thing to get hold of more accounts. If they get into your social network account they can very quickly obtain your date of birth, mother's maiden name and other common security question trivia. If they get into your email account, they can discover what else you have lying around - and even request password resets on accounts they don't have the password for.
It may be a pain to do - but come up with a system that works for you that means you can have a different password for each website you log into. And while you're at it, don't use your pet's name, your date of birth or your favourite football club for your password!