It can be tough being a responsible adult sometimes, and managing these responsibilities isn’t always a chore that I want to deal with. Can you relate? Managing life takes focus and effort, and managing your online life is no different. Most of us are lazy with our online accounts, especially when it comes to our passwords. It is easy to use the same password for every account, but this also makes it very easy for hackers to access your passwords.
You Need a Password Manager
Most of us have several online accounts that require different passwords. However, trying to remember all of these passwords is difficult, so it is no wonder that people choose to only use one password for every account. How can you avoid this? You should use a password manager.
- Password managers will help a person not only create a password that is safe and secure, but all of the passwords you choose can be stored and managed by using a master password.
- A master password allows you to get access to all of your accounts by using only one password.
- When you have a password manager, you will no longer have to reset passwords, and your online accounts will be more secure than ever before.
Making Passwords Strong and Secure
There are a number of ways to make your passwords secure and strong. But don’t just take my word for it, according to Bill Carey, VP Marketing for the RoboForm Password Manager “The number one thing a user can do to protect themselves online is to use a strong unique password for every website.”
- Passwords should be a minimum of eight characters long.
- All passwords should also have letters, numbers and characters that do not spell another word.
- Make sure to use different passwords for different accounts. This is especially the case for banking and other websites that contain sensitive information.
- Passwords should be changed frequently to ensure safety and security.
Those who have weak passwords are more susceptible to hacks and scams. Make sure to take these tips to heart and protect your sensitive online information.
How Passwords Get Hacked
If I wanted to crack one of your passwords, I could probably make a series of educated guesses and get pretty close. Why? Because people tend to stick with simple, easy to remember passwords, but these are the passwords that are easy to hack. According to Bill Carey, VP Marketing for the RoboForm Password Manager “Users need to take personal responsibility for their passwords and not assume that companies will keep them safe.”
Hackers Have Many Ways to Get Into Your Accounts
There are many ways that a hacker can get into an online account.
- A brute force attack is one of the simplest ways to gain access to information and is generally done when a hacker writes a special code to log into a site using specific usernames and passwords.
- A hacker usually focuses on websites that are not known for security, such as forums…and if you are like most people, the same password and username you use on your favorite gardening site is the same you use at your bank…or at least a version of it.
- The hacker instructs the code to try thousands of different username and password combinations on the target site, such as your bank.
- What makes this easier? Your computer stores cookies, which have information on your login credentials, in a neat, orderly unencrypted folder on the cache of your web browser. As soon as this is accessed, it can be used to get into online accounts.
How to Improve Your Passwords
There are a number of expert tips that will help to improve your passwords:
- Substitute numbers for letters that look similar, such as @ for O, i.e. M@delTFord.
- Throw in a random capital letter where it usually shouldn’t be, i.e. PaviLlion723.
- Have a different username and password combination for every account.
- Consider using a password manager to keep track of all of your account credentials. This way, you won’t have to worry about remembering all of the symbols and letters. These password managers also automatically fill passwords in on web pages or on devices.
- Test your password strength with an online tester, but make sure it is from a reputable source, such as Microsoft or even better use the experts over at password manager RoboForm – http://www.roboform.com/how-secure-is-my-password.
Don’t learn a hard lesson when it comes to your passwords. Take the steps today to update your login credentials, and have a safer tomorrow.
Robert Siciliano CSP
#1 Best Selling Author