I get it. I know how much of a hassle it can be to use a different password for everything you do. You have banking passwords, email passwords, forum passwords, blog passwords, computer logon passwords – the list can go on forever. Just about everything has a password.

If you are one of those who uses the same password for everything, I know you’re out there, let me plead my case about its dangers and ask you to make one simple change to get you on the path to better security practices.

A new study by Trusteer, an online security firm, reports that 73% of us use the same password for online banking as we do for email or some other login. Out of that 73%, a bunch use the same password for EVERYTHING. Even more dangerous, 47% of us use not just the same password, but the same username as well. I hope you see where I am going with this.

If some unscrupulous person out there gets a hold of your email login (which is not very difficult nowadays), they also get your financial login. They can now do what they want with your money. If you have registered to a forum or some other site that does not hold itself to high security standards, they will be able to see what information you have registered with. The site administrator now has your login credentials for your email, bank accounts and whatever else you do online.

So how can we change our habits? Let’s take it in steps. If you can’t get yourself to have a different password for everything, start off by grouping your passwords. This is not as secure as using different passwords for everything, but is a lot better than using the same username and password.

With grouping, you set up your logons in groups. Banking/financial, emails, websites/forums, etc. Now you have 3 usernames and passwords instead of one. Once you get used to this process, branch out and pick a separate password for your banking and financial website. Then work your way up to different usernames as well.

I suggest you work quickly though. The longer you use the same username and password for everything, the more chances you are giving those who want to steal it.

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