Do not use your Google password for other apps

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

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  • 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

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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.

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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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