Why you should have a separate password for each service

Many people are bored with the countless passwords they have for different accounts. Say, there is Google, Netflix, eMail, Bank, Dropbox, Evernote, Dating Site, etc. There are tens, if not hundreds of passwords to manage.

I happened to help in solving a cyber crime, and part of that assignment was to ‘hack’ open a high number of accounts and close them. It was a case of identity theft.

There are a few relatively nice ways to get your hands on someones password, the method is so easy and simple that any 1st semester student can utilize it against virtually anyone. It might even work on me. But using that technique, you can get hold of someone’s password(s).

Once you have the password of , say Gmail, and it’s 012345678 (the most common weak password), you will try to login with the same password in Netflix, Dropbox, Facebook, and so forth. And you will most likely succeed. If you don’t, just use the simple trick to get another password, and you can hack open another 10 services.

This is why you should have a separate password for each service – or strong authentication (e.g. mobile PIN required in addition to the password like with Microsoft or Amazon accounts – I highly recommend them.) If you can’t handle the passwords, use a password storing software or store your passwords in a strongly encrypted word document.

I only needed to know two passwords of the person commencing the identity theft – and I had 95% of the accounts closed.

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