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When it comes to protecting our passwords, we swing to extremes: either we get paranoid or we get careless. That isn’t helpful, especially when there are so many security myths floating around. Take the following three, for example.

1. “Two-factor authentication is failsafe.”

Yes, two-factor authentication (2FA) is a smart way to secure your online accounts, and everyone should use it, but it doesn’t make your accounts 100% impervious to hackers 5 Ways Passwords & Other Data Can Be Stolen From Right Under Your Nose 5 Ways Passwords & Other Data Can Be Stolen From Right Under Your Nose If you lose your password to criminals, your entire existence can potentially be rewritten. Protect yourself. Read More , and you can’t get away with weak passwords just because you have 2FA enabled.

That said, your accounts are a lot safer with 2FA protection than without it. Don’t forget to download the backup codes Using 2FA on Google? Download Your Backup Codes Now! Using 2FA on Google? Download Your Backup Codes Now! After enabling two-factor authentication on Google, there's one important step you can't afford to forget. If you do, you could end up locked out of your account forever. Read More though.

2. “Passwords are secure with big companies.”

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Big brands can give you the illusion of security. Since they’re big, they must be more vulnerable to attacks, right? And therefore they take more measures to protect themselves and their users, right? That’s the reasoning we all fall prey to.

Sadly, that reasoning doesn’t work. Many companies are known to store passwords in unencrypted form (i.e, plain text). The size of the company doesn’t matter. That’s why even for big name accounts, you should continue to follow the same best practices that you follow for other accounts.

3. “Password checkers are accurate.”

When you’re creating a password, having the password checker say something like “your password is 98% strong” can make you feel safe, but it’s not a reliable way to judge how vulnerable your password is Test Your Password Strength with the Same Tool Hackers Use Test Your Password Strength with the Same Tool Hackers Use Is your password secure? Tools that assess your password strength have poor accuracy, meaning that the only way to really test your passwords is to try to break them. Let's look at how. Read More to attack. The good news is that the password meter does make you serious about creating strong passwords.

Debunked myths like these can help you pay attention to your digital security and still accept that there’s only so much you can do about it.

Are there any password security myths that you believed to be true and yet got dispelled? Tell us about them!

Image Credit: Password Note by shutteratakan via Shutterstock

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