The risks of reusing passwords
Ticketmaster data breach compensation

The risks of reusing passwords

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In principle, most of us should recognise the value of creating complex, unique passwords for each of our online accounts, but many of us find it difficult to apply this principle in practice. Until we are directly confronted with a compromised security event, few of us may comprehend the risks of reusing passwords. It is for this reason that we think it’s important to reiterate the dangers of this fundamental security error, particularly in a world in which we are constantly facing the threats of cybercrime.

In the digital world, just one stolen or leaked password could allow a cybercriminal to unlock a wealth of valuable information. As hackers continue to develop more sophisticated methods, password misuse could be regarded as a growing phenomenon.

We are a firm of specialist data protection lawyers, so we know all too well the dangers that victims of information exposure can be made vulnerable to. In our capacity as data breach specialists, we want to empower our clients to protect their data security as far as they can, which is why we are offering this advice as a basic data protection strategy.

The risks of reusing passwords – playing into the hands of criminals

The risks of reusing passwords can be summarised in quite simple terms: if a criminal manages to steal a password for one of your online accounts, but you have in fact reused this password across multiple accounts, it could enable a hacker to break into all of these accounts. This clearly demonstrates how reusing a password can play into the hands of criminals.

Hackers already have their own methods for breaching accounts, so it is vital that we do not add further weapons to their arsenal. For example, a technique called credential stuffing can exploit the prevalence of password reuse by allowing criminals to rapidly enter stolen username and password combinations into different websites automatically.

Data breach victims and password theft

The risks of reusing passwords are perhaps even more pronounced for data breach victims, who can often have usernames and passwords leaked. If these passwords fall into the hands of criminals, and the victim happens to have used this password for other accounts, their security may be compromised even further.

For eligible clients who suffer as a result of a data breach event, we are able to offer No Win, No Fee legal representation for a case.

How to create secure passwords

Ideally, a secure password is made up of a variety of letters (capital and lowercase), numbers, and special characters such as punctuation marks. This can enable you to create more complex combinations that are harder for hackers to guess or crack.

We know that many people have multiple online accounts, and it can seem difficult to memorise a different, complex password for each; but tools have been created to cope with this difficulty. Applications called password managers are aimed at dealing with this issue, as they can enable users to securely store a number of different passwords in one place, without the need for memorisation. These password managers may enable you to avoid the risks of reusing passwords with greater ease.

If you know that you use the same or similar passwords across multiple accounts, now is the time to update these account credentials to ensure the security of your personal information and your finances. Hacking accounts can enable criminals to carry out all kinds of fraud, and complex, varied passwords are key to protecting yourself.

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Information on how we handle your data is available in our Privacy Policy.

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