What the Living Social password breach means to you

Are you guilty of one of the worst bad technology habits ? Do you use the same password and login name for a multitude of online sites? If so, you could be putting yourself at severe risk. Clever hackers just might crack your password. When they do, what’s to stop them from utilizing that password to get into all of your favorite online sites – including, possibly, your online bank – while pretending to be you?

Major Breach

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

Changing Passwords

But, as the ars technica story illustrates, some people might have responded too late to the password breach. Tim O’Shaughnessy, the chief executive officer of LivingSocial, was quoted after the password breach as telling the site’s users to change their passwords. He also advised users to change their passwords at other sites if these passwords are the same as or similar to the one they had been using at LivingSocial. This is useful advice. Even better advice? You should never use the same password at different sites to begin with.

A Hassle, But Important

It can be difficult to remember dozens of passwords. And there are times when you simply want to log onto a site with a password that you’ve used dozens of times before because it is easier than creating, and writing down, a brand-new access code. Don’t fall victim to this urge. If a hacker cracks your password at one site, it’s not overly hard for this cyber criminal to use the same one to access your other Web sites, too, if you’re too lazy to make different passwords at different sites. Yes, passwords are imperfect. Even so the more imaginative you are with them — and this includes creating separate passwords for every site you visit — the better off you’ll be.

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