Are you sloppy with your online passwords? It’s time to change your habits

Are you guilty of one of the worst bad technology habits possible? Do you ever use the exact same password and login name for dozens of online sites? If so, you might be putting yourself at serious risk. Clever hackers might be able to crack your password. When they do, what’s to stop them from using that password to access all of your favorite online sites – including, possibly, your online bank – while pretending to be you?

A breach

According to the story, — which offers users daily bargains on everything from restaurants and spas to amusement parks and museums — recently suffered a enormous security breach. The breach exposed the names, e-mail addresses and password information for up to 50 million LivingSocial users, according to ars technica.

Too Little, Too Late?

According to ars technica, Tim O’Shaugnessy, the chief executive officer of LivingSocial, quickly reacted by advising users to change their LivingSocial passwords. O’Shaugnessy took the extra step of advising the site’s users to change any other passwords that are similar to or the identical to the ones they use at LivingSocial. That’s good advice. It remains to be seen, though, how many LivingSocial users will take this step.

A Hassle, But Important

It’s bad enough if a hacker nabs your password at one site. But what if you use this same password at other sites? What if you use this same password at your online bank or credit union? You could be in a world of hurt as this hacker quickly uses your universal password to break into dozens of your favorite or most sensitive online sites. Yes, it’s not a lot of fun trying to recall the dozens of passwords you need as you make your way across the Internet. Nevertheless, make the effort. It’s even less fun to realize that a cyber criminal has used your password to empty your online bank account.