Why Reusing Passwords is a Bad Idea

April 16, 2021

"I have a really great passphrase, it's long and easy to remember, so I use it on all my accounts."

Sound familiar? Why is it so hard for us to abandon this idea that reusing passphrases is a bad idea? Well, we're humans and humans tend to rationalize to confirm our decisions. "What are the chances that someone will get my password and compromise my account, I mean, will that really happen to me?" Well, it turns out it does - and more frequently that you might imagine.

According to SecurityBoulevard.com:

  • 65% of us reuse passwords 
  • 91% of us know it’s bad
  • 73% duplicate passwords across our personal and professional accounts
  • 44 million accounts were stolen or compromised in the first three months of 2019.
  • Compromised passwords are responsible for 81% of hacking-related breaches

If numbers aren't your thing what this means is that the threat is real AND that you can protect yourself by not reusing passwords. You may be thinking, "I can't remember what happened last week, let alone all my passphrases! What am I to do?" Use a password manager. Password managers create and store your usernames and passwords for your online accounts in an encrypted vault that you can access across your devices. Better yet, UC Berkeley offers FREE LastPass Premium for all users with a CalNet ID. It's really easy to use and we even put together a comprehensive toolkit to help you get started.