9 Most Common Password Mistakes That Leave Your Accounts Vulnerable

What was the inspiration for the last password you created for an online account?

It’s human nature to reflect fondly on memorable events, dates, people or pets when it comes time to “fill in the blank” on a new account password.

But it’s those personal details that can get us in trouble when nefarious characters try to steal our information online.

Internet security company ExpressVPN recently conducted a survey that revealed many of us are making poor cybersecurity decisions by including our personal details in passwords.

In this article, I’ll explore the most common password mistakes people are making, according to ExpressVPN’s findings, as well as some other tips provided by the firm’s cybersecurity experts.

9 Most Common Personal Details in Passwords According to the Survey

Including personal details isn’t the only mistake you can make with a password, but it definitely is a common one.

According to the survey, the most common personal detail included in a password is a date of birth. That’s followed closely by other easily identifiable things such as first and last names.

The trouble with this, of course, is that an identity thief can easily compile this type of information on you and put it to use as they attempt to crack the code on your passwords.

And while it may not be such a big deal if they get the password for your favorite online message board, it could be life-changing — in a bad way — if they’re able to figure out a password to your banking, investing, Social Security or other pertinent personal financial accounts.

Here’s a look at the top nine personal details survey takers were using in their passwords.

Ranking Personal Detail Passwords Containing These Details
1 Date of birth 43.9%
2 Pet’s name 43.8%
3 First name 42.3%
4 Last name 40%
5 Child’s name 37.5%
6 Phone number 32.2%
7 Middle name 31.6%
8 Social Security number 30.3%
9 Ex-partner’s name 26.1%
Survey statistics provided by ExpressVPN

That’s Not All! We’re Also Making These Password Mistakes

Remember when I said personal details aren’t the only problem? The survey unveiled some more common missteps that people make in efforts to secure their personal information.

ExpressVPN provided these…