Ideally we should use different passwords for every website or service that we have an account with, but that can be tricky as it means having to remember so many different password/username combos. This is why some users tend to use the same password, and in some cases, use “weak” passwords because it is easy to remember.

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However it seems that over in California, using weak passwords will be banned starting in 2020 as part of the Information Privacy: Connected Devices bill. No, this won’t affect your personal passwords, but rather the passwords that might come bundled with certain electronic devices. For example a lot of routers ship with blank passwords, or use an “admin” combo for its username and password.

The idea for these easy passwords is that it makes it easier for users to log into their devices, but once this law comes into effect in 2020, manufacturers will need to start shipping out unique passwords or provide tools that will generate unique and stronger passwords for their devices. In theory this should help the spread of botnets and attacks that sometimes rely on weak or publicly disclosed passwords to compromise systems.

That being said, there is a problem with this law and that is how it will be applied to older devices that have passwords hard-coded, which makes them impossible to change.

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