Finding out that someone has guessed your password can be a scary feeling. Passwords protect your important data, so having someone guess it is a major threat to your security. There are several ways someone could have guessed your password including having bad password habits and easy-to-guess security questions. Read on to learn more about password guessing and the steps you can take to avoid it from happening to your accounts.
How to Know Your Password Has Been Guessed
Before you can begin to ask yourself how someone guessed your password, you must be able to identify that someone has successfully guessed or attempted to guess your password. Here are several signs to look out for.
You notice unusual activity on your accounts
If you log in to your accounts and notice an unusual amount of account activity or transactions that you didn’t make, it’s a sign that someone was able to log into your account.
You get a notification that someone has signed into your account from a new device
This can be the most telling sign that someone has signed into your account by successfully guessing your password. This type of notification enables you to take immediate action against someone trying to sign into your account, but it can be particularly dangerous if you’re someone who doesn’t check their email often. If you were to miss this type of notification, it can be too late to prevent a breach from occurring before you realize that an unauthorized individual is trying to get into your account.
How Someone Guessed Your Password
There are many ways someone could have guessed your password to log into your accounts. Here are some of the most common ways.
Bad password habits
Bad password habits have become increasingly common and have led to various breaches – often resulting in loss of money. According to Keeper’s US Password Practices Report, Americans don’t have the best password hygiene and oftentimes use easy-to-guess passwords or reuse their passwords. The report finds that 56% of respondents use the same password for multiple accounts and respondents aged 25-34 tend to use the same password for five different sites/apps. Password reuse has become a common practice among users and businesses alike and has led to countless breaches, plus it makes it easier for someone to access multiple accounts of yours.
Easy-to-guess security questions
Security questions as an extra layer of security can be both useful and risky. When it comes to security questions, they often ask questions such as what high school you attended or what your mother’s maiden is. If you’re not careful, simply by searching for you on social media someone could figure this information out and successfully answer your security questions.
Password attacks are exactly what the name implies, attacks on your passwords. The goal of a password attack is to successfully get your password and attempt to compromise your accounts. A few forms of password attacks are:
A dictionary attack is an attack that tries multiple combinations of words in a dictionary to gain access to your accounts. If you’re using a dictionary word as your password, your password can be easily guessed.
Credential stuffing is when a cybercriminal enters different usernames and passwords into websites in order to gain unauthorized access. If some of your old credentials were a part of a data breach, cybercriminals can use that information to break into your account by using the same information.
How to Prevent Your Passwords From Being Guessed
It’s important to practice password hygiene in order to prevent cybercriminals from being able to guess your passwords easily. Here are a few things you should implement to keep your accounts more secure.
A password manager is a cybersecurity tool that stores all your passwords and sensitive information in a vault that’s only accessible with your master password. Password managers allow you to access your information from anywhere on any device. Password managers can prevent your passwords from being guessed by generating unique, strong passwords for each of your accounts and storing them securely so only you have access to them. Without a password manager, it can be hard to create strong passwords for multiple accounts that you’ll remember.
Set security questions to wrong answers you’ll remember
Although security questions can add an extra layer of security to your accounts, your answers can be easy for cybercriminals to find – especially if your someone active on social media. Security questions often ask you to name your first pet, where you were born and more. These questions can be easy for anyone to find on social media if you answer them correctly. Despite the risks of being open on social media about all aspects of your life, many people are not careful with what they post. This can make personal security questions easy to answer.
One way to prevent someone from figuring out your security questions is by setting them to have wrong answers that you’ll remember. This will prevent anyone from being able to guess your security questions correctly since they won’t be able to go look at your social accounts or public data for the answers.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an authentication method where the user is granted access to a website, application or platform only after providing multiple verification factors that validate their identity. Enabling two-factor or multi-factor authentication is a simple way to keep your data protected as it acts as multiple layers of security – making it difficult for anyone to access your account other than you.
Stay Protected From Password Guessing
The best way to protect yourself from anyone guessing your passwords is by developing good password hygiene and actively practicing it. A good way to develop password hygiene is by implementing a password management solution like Keeper. Keeper makes the process of creating passwords easy, plus each of your passwords is generated so that they’re all strong and unique.
Never worry about someone guessing your passwords again – start your free trial of Keeper today.