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I want to understand the risk in reusing complex password.

  • Unique complex passwords for each and every email account, say 3.
  • All other accounts, bank, medical, social, share a complex password, 1
  • This makes a total of 4 passwords.

LinkedIn account gets hacked, emails and passwords are lifted.

How does this affect security of other bank, medical, and social sites?

Note as an aside, many financial sites limit passwords to alphanumeric, still!

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The bigger problem is not your linkedin account getting hacked, it's Linkedin itself getting hacked and all users emails + passwords becoming avaiable

To unlikely? It already happened before. Adobe, eBay, Yahoo, PlayStation Network, the list goes on... all of these companies have had their database hacked and users emails and passwords leaked in the past (some of them, twice).

So, if you want to be safe, you should not use the same password for more than one website. Yes, that may be extremely annoying, but it doesn't have to. You can use a password manager that generates unique strong passwords for every account you create and stores them for you. Of course, this leads to a single point of failure, so you should use a very strong and unique password on the password manager. You can browse all about this if you want to know more.

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  • All email accounts have a unique strong password. So, as stated above LinkedIn all users emails + passwords become available. How does this impact usernames + passwords for Adobe?
    – paulj
    Sep 1, 2020 at 11:04
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    @paulj If you use the same password for both LinkedIn and Adobe, then an attacker can use your password leaked from linkedin to log in to Adobe and everything else.
    – nobody
    Sep 1, 2020 at 11:29
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    @nobody This is because even though username may be different, email is still linked. I get it now. I was seeing it as username/password. But that is not how sites are actually setup. It is email=> username/password.
    – paulj
    Sep 1, 2020 at 14:04

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