A password enables you to access an account, where insane amounts of personal information or even money is stored. You must it keep it secret, but what if you shared it with others? Let’s find out the scenarios and consequences below.
Unfortunately, if you know how to protect your passwords but they’re exposed to others, it’s probably unintentional. For instance, you might accidentally click on a phishing link, or keyloggers may have managed to record your keystrokes. Hackers might have come up with a code that happens to be your password. In any case above, you are responsible for that because you have a very weak password, or carelessly installed malware or clicked on an unknown link.
Even if you do your best, your passwords might still be leaked. That’s due to a data breach that involves data from servers being stolen by hackers. There is a wide range of information that can be exposed in these events, including personal details or even your passwords.
What Will The Receiver Do?
They will obviously use your password to log in to your account. Even if you share your password with your friends online, you never know when someone hacks into their accounts and grabs the information for illegal purposes.
You know that things will go badly. Your money and personal information could be stolen, and the information can help another, bigger spear-phishing attack. Basically, these attacks only target one person at a time and customize the email perfectly so that the target will be convinced to do whatever the email tells he/she to do.
However, there’s more. The hacker will then attempt to use the same username-password combination on multiple accounts. They might even insert your email address if they know it! If you use one single password on multiple accounts or if the compromised account has linked accounts, all of these accounts can be compromised, too.
Sharing accounts can also allow a larger surface of attack. Sometimes, companies will use that to facilitate collaboration or employee management. However, think twice before you do so. In that case, it only takes a single user to do something wrong (e.g., falling into a phishing trap) to ruin the entire account.
What to Do if You Shared Your Password with Others?
If you realized you shared your password with someone else online, change all passwords quickly. Start with the affected account and then all the linked accounts. Finally, you should change your passwords for other, seemingly unrelated accounts, too. You never know when hackers find a connection between your compromised account and these accounts.
This time, use a random password generator from your password manager. But, there are some accounts that cannot use these password managers, such as the password manager itself. Therefore, if you’re not good at making strong passwords quickly, you should start by making a temporary password for these accounts. After that, change your passwords again and use the latest password until something awful happens again.
In this article, we have talked about the consequences and the actions needed if you shared your password with others. Hopefully, you are aware of phishing threats and think twice before sharing accounts.
Nevertheless, you have to learn more to avoid these events more efficiently. If you’re looking for a starting point, please visit the websites in the references below. Furthermore, if you have any more findings, please leave them in the comments below.
References and Credits
- Steve Symanovich. (n.d.). What Is a Data Breach and How Do I Handle One? Retrieved May 14, 2021, from https://www.lifelock.com/learn-data-breaches-data-breaches-need-to-know.html
- Carson. (2021, February 22). How can Hackers Get Passwords (And How to Prevent that). Retrieved May 14, 2021, from https://www.centralgalaxy.com/how-can-hackers-get-passwords/
- Jordan Keating.(2021, February 9). The Risks of Shared Passwords. Retrieved May 15, 2021, from https://www.blueorangecompliance.com/the-risks-of-shared-passwords/
- Brent Williams. (2019, March 19). The dangers of password sharing at work. Retrieved May 15, 2021, from https://www.techradar.com/news/the-dangers-of-password-sharing-at-work