Do not use your Google password for other apps

Do not use your Google password for other apps
Google suite of applicationsUnsplash

  • Google says that users shouldn’t be reusing their password for third-party applications.
  • Two-step verification may protect a user’s Google account but it does not protect other less secure third-party accounts.
  • A study by NIST found that most online users suffer from ‘security fatigue’, which increases their tendency to reuse passwords.
Anyone with an Android smartphone usually has a Google account. That one account is normally synced across the tech giant’s multiple services — YouTube, Gmail, Docs.

It’s also used to sign up for third party applications. But, according to Google, users shouldn’t be reusing their passwords for the same.However, a lot of people still do.

"To protect your Google account, keep your password confidential. You should not reuse your Google account password on third-party applications," stated YouTube’s new terms of service.
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For most people, it’s not easy to remember the multitude of passwords that would wary with every application. According to a study by Microsoft, a user has 25 different accounts on average but only 6.5 different passwords. That means that the same password is being used for at least 4 accounts.

Google’s line of defence


Google’s own security has two-step verification. Not only do users have to put in their password but also security keys in order to access their account. This means that even if a hacker got their hands on a password, it would not be enough to access the Google account.

The problem lies where this option is not being used. And, even if it is, the same two-step verification may not be applicable to third-party applications.

If a hacker were to steal a password from a less secure third-party application, it would give them access to multiple accounts since the way to access them would be common.

Hackers might not be able to access Google if a user has their two-step verification activated but if the password is used often enough, it might still give the hackers access to plenty of other accounts — especially since a lot of people suffer from ‘security fatigue’.

‘Security fatigue’ — a phenomenon identified by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) — results from the number of accounts, devices, networks that require login credentials.

Researchers found that the majority of online users felt "overwhelmed and bombarded" by the nuances of online security issues, which increased their tendency to reuse passwords.

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