Passwords and management of those passwords are a big pain – no two ways around it. One website requires a symbol, another requires 14 characters and your bank requires 10 characters, four PIN numbers and the answer to a secret question. It becomes easy to just use the same three or four passwords for everything – after all, that’s more secure than one password for everything, right?
Here’s the problem with this strategy. Let’s assume that you have a Gmail account, an Amazon account and some accounts at big-box retail stores. You use the same password on all of the sites, and you use it for the account you set up on a particular online retailer you found to order client gifts. This website gets hacked or falls victim to an attack. Not only do the crooks get your credit-card information, they also manage to get the list of all of the website’s users and those users’ passwords, which they can now share on the Internet.
Since you used the same password on their website as you did on Amazon, Gmail and other websites, all of these accounts are now in the hands of cyber criminals. That’s why it’s important to have different passwords for EACH website and application.
To learn more about creating strong passwords, see our Complex Password Guide (PDF).