22 Jul Password Security and Management
We all have a love-hate relationship with technology, and when it comes to passwords in most cases we hate them. We have so many passwords, there is a new one for everything, we have to change them once they expire, and some sites have a long list of rules when it comes to password requirements. How do we ever remember the ever-growing and every changing password database in our head? Some will use the same password for everything, others may use a hackers dream password “1234567” just so they can easily remember them. Both of these are terrible ideas and you may want to consider a password manager. There may be users that do not want to keep all of their passwords in a single location and that is ok.
Tips for a Strong Secure Password
- Make your passwords at least 12-16 characters
- DO NOT use pet names, family names, addresses, SSN, dob, or any other personal info
- DO NOT recycle or reuse a password
- Include capital letters, numbers and symbols
- Change your password every three months
- DO NOT let chrome, explorer, firefox, safari or any other browser save your password
Password managers protect your accounts by storing your login information in an encrypted vault, in addition to a secure backup location of your choosing, like Dropbox or an external hard drive. No one can open your password vault or backup unless they have access to it (meaning the app’s encryption keys) and know your master password. This makes it next to impossible for anyone to accidentally discover your passwords like they could if you saved them in a text file. These managers allow you to easily create complex passwords automatically, and the manager will remember them for you. Password managers can also help with the cleanup of old or duplicated passwords.
Make sure it’s reputable and that it’s one you pay for. Free password managers are shady; if it’s free, there’s going to be a catch like bugs, dirty data practices, or a lack of support should anything go wrong. Think of it like insurance: a necessary evil, though at least it’s only a few bucks a month, and password managers are certainly more reliable and directly beneficial than claiming a car wreck.
When you pick one, do a little Googling for reviews and articles just to be sure it’s right for you in terms of the features you want and need.
These are the password managers we recommend considering: 1Password, Keeper, Norton 360 Deluxe, LastPass, Dashlane, and NordPass.
The password manager setup is a snap. Sign up for your account and do all the billing. Then download the manager’s apps to your devices and make sure you get its browser extension. When you want to fill in a password, simply click the extension’s symbol next to your address bar and sign in.
Since you’ll only need to remember your master password after this, make that one a long-phrase — a short sentence, with a number and symbol thrown in for good measure. Tip – you can use a dollar sign ($) in place of an “S” or a “3” in place of an “E”.
Then, start using and visiting apps and websites where you have accounts. The password manager will ask you to save your login, and from that point forward it will know when you’re about to log in somewhere and prompt you for permission to fill in your credentials. Password managers don’t do things without your permission. The great thing about password managers is that they’ll tell you when passwords reoccur, and they make it easy to find and change your duplicates.