Should You Use Your Pet’s Name in Passwords?
Short answer, no. Long answer, also no.
Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)
There are a few things that connect all pet parents — our phones have long devolved into mere galleries of cute pics, clothes covered in hair have become an accepted part of the wardrobe, and we force references to our companions any chance we can get. For evidence of that last bit, look no further than all of our passwords. But, according to the experts, this shared exercise might be a security breach waiting to happen.
A recent survey conducted by the digital security platform Aura found that 39 percent of pet parents have used their pet’s name in a password. For people 35-44 years old, it’s even more significant at 50 percent. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve used a pet’s name as a password. And there’s probably an equal chance that you don’t think it’s a big deal — neither did I. However, dig a little deeper and you might reconsider your stance.
Researchers surveyed 2,082 people aged 18 years or older, and the results shed some light on a few pet-parent habits that can be troublesome for security. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed admitted to posting a picture of their pet on social media. Forty-nine percent shared their pet’s name in a post. Social media is an incredibly public forum; anyone with intent can see those posts and connect the digital dots pretty quickly — especially when 36 percent of those who stated they had posted their pet’s name had over 500 followers.
“People tend to create passwords that are both meaningful and easy to memorize for use across various platforms. However, simplicity and ease are two descriptors that should never be used regarding your passwords,” According to President and Chief Operating Officer of Aura Kelly Merryman. “Strong, unique passwords are the most important — and sometimes only — protection we have against hackers.”
So just as you wouldn’t feel confident with your pet keeping track of your bank statements, don’t trust their name to shield access to those trying to purloin them.
Sean Zucker is a writer whose work has been featured in Points In Case, The Daily Drunk, Posty, and WellWell. He has an adopted Pit Bull named Banshee whose work has been featured on the kitchen floor and whose behavioral issues rival his own.