Six common user mistakes when setting up an online account
Whether out of necessity, entertainment or a need to communicate with others, consumers create new accounts on various online platforms every day.
In fact, a recent study shows the average American has 27 online accounts, and that number is likely to grow with the emergence of new platforms and changes in consumer habits.
It’s no secret that users often chose convenience over security when creating an online account. Here are some common mistakes you’re probably making during the account creation process:
#1. You recycle or use a weak password
Weak or recycled passwords are the leading cause of data and financial compromise due to breaches and account hijacking. Moreover, in case of a security breach, using the same email address and password combination on multiple websites makes it easier for malicious individuals to compromise or lock you out of multiple accounts at once.
A strong password has 12 or more characters, with a mix of lower and uppercase letters, numbers and symbols that won’t form any predictable word or phrase.
#2. You opt for an unsafe website
Online platforms or websites running on unsafe HTTP protocols should be a red flag for a cyber-savvy user. If a website is running on HTTP, it’s not encrypted, and any data exchanged with the platforms’ server can easily be intercepted or stolen in plain text, including passwords and financial data.
#3. You provide too much personal info
Most internet users publicly expose their data when signing up on a new platform. Not limiting the information you share helps build not only a social profile, but can also lead to malicious actors exploiting your identity.
Less is more in terms of cybersecurity, so if you need to choose between sharing or limiting the personal information available on your account, it’s best you stick to the latter.
#4. You don’t check the privacy and security settings
The anticipation of exploring a new social platform and communicating with friends may lead to crucial oversights in privacy and security.
Every new online account requires extra care, including enabling 2FA or MFA as an additional layer of security and tweaking any privacy settings that can help you avoid malicious activity, protect your reputation and decide what data you want to share with the service provider.
If you’re uncomfortable or unsure about particulars, contact the company for clarification.
#6. You store your passwords in an unsecure place
Even if your password-generating skills are top-notch, storing passwords securely, away from prying eyes, is crucial to the security of your account. While you’re still struggling to remember the new login credential combo, don’t feel tempted to store it in your email, sticky notes on your desktop, notebook or web documents.
Being password-smart is essential to your online security, privacy and financial wellbeing. If generating and memorizing new passwords is a nuisance, consider opting for a password manager tool.
Bitdefender Password Manager helps you safely generate, store and keep track of all your digital accounts. Our cross-platform solutions help you set up strong passwords whenever you sign up to a new platform, conveniently and effectively storing all of your information in a locally encrypted database using the highest standard of cryptographic algorithms so no one but you has access to this sensitive info.