Sharing: Passwords and Public Profiles
Growing up, that was pretty sound advice. However, in today’s online world, sharing could get you into a lot of trouble! Sharing your online passwords with others or giving out a lot of info online can lead to numerous problems.
The problem is that the sharing of passwords is extremely common. In a MediaSmarts study, 59 per cent of students stated they’d share their cell phone, email, or social media passwords. Girls were more inclined to share this info than boys.
About one in four said they’d let their best friends use their online accounts. Sixteen per cent of students share passwords in grades seven through 11. They stated would let their boyfriend or girlfriend log into their accounts.
It is not just kids sharing passwords! A Pew study showed that 67 per cent of Internet users who are married or in a relationship have shared passwords for at least one of their accounts with their significant others. It was not just young couples in the honeymoon phase either. Sixty-nine per cent of those surveyed over 65 shared passwords.
Why is it bad to share?
So, lots of people are sharing passwords. That means it must be OK, right? Nope. If someone has your passwords, they could take advantage of your online banking, credit card or shopping accounts. Even sharing passwords to your email, Twitter, Facebook, or other social networking accounts could cause you problems. Someone could use these accounts to send out messages, posts and photos that sully your reputation. This could impact your personal and work relationships; make it harder to get a job, and other repercussions.
As well as sharing passwords, you also need to be careful about what info you give out online. If someone looks through your social media profile pages, they could learn a lot about you. They could possibly use this info to guess your passwords. Smart criminals can also leverage your info to create accounts in your name for identity theft.
How to Protect Your Passwords and Profiles
When it comes to passwords, the basic rule is don’t share. There are also other ways to protect your passwords. You could use a secure password manager like SpeedyPassword, which is available free of charge. This easy-to-use password manager remembers your passwords and logs you in automatically to your accounts. This means you don’t have to remember your password. That way, using SpeedyPassword’s handy free password generator, you can create complicated passwords to secure your accounts. By using the password generator, you can avoid passwords that someone might associate with you, such as your spouse’s name or your favourite team. With SpeedyPassword logging you in, you won’t type in your password so programs like keyloggers can’t swipe it.
When using social media, you should be careful about what you allow everyone to see. In Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other sites, you can decide what you want to share and who to share it with! For example, in Twitter you can set it so that only your followers see your tweets.
November 4, 2014 / By: Andrew Macklin