Passwords…..My Complex Password Will Keep Me Safe, Right?

 

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Ok, so you’ve added a a number or even a bit of punctuation (!*@) to your password and you feel smug knowing that no hackers going to get the better of you. Right? Wrong!

The thing is, that complex password you’ve used is really hard to remember so you’ve used it on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, Moonpig and that dodgy dating site you joined up to years ago.  So here’s the problem, we entrust all these websites to look after our personal information, our data assets and some do a better job  than others but you don’t know how they store your data or how or whether it’s encrypted. If you’ve ever clicked on a Resend Password button on a website and it’s sent it back in an email in clear text then you’ve got to question whether they are storing the password in clear text. If they are that lackadaisical with security then it won’t be too much effort for a hacker to get your password.

Now the hacker has your password and your login details, probably your email address. The same 2 bits of information that, when put together, will allow access to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, Moonpig and that dodgy dating site you joined up to years ago.  You need a separate complex password for each account.

I’ve Got 70 Online Accounts – I Can Hardly Remember One!

Creating and remember 70 complex passwords that don’t follow a pattern is some mean feat.  The way to remember them is to use a Password Manager. Password Managers are encrypted databases that can store passwords, create complex ones and interact with your browser so that they auto-login in for you. Typing and remembering the password is a thing of the past.

There are several out there however the one I would recommend is Dashlane mainly for its simplicity and easy to navigate GUI (graphical user interface). I installed it first on my desktop PC and then on my iPad and Samsung S7 and then laptop. The first time I used it the software found several websites that I routinely use and automatically entered their passwords into the database.  The security dashboard then told me how insecure I was.  It pointed out where I had really weak passwords and which websites I had re-used the same password, which was too many for me to admit here. I then set about changing my password on all these sites with the help of Dashlane creating a long and complex password. Eventually and after a couple of hours I had changed the amber warning alert to a nice green tick which informed me that all my passwords were strong and not re-used.  I feel a lot more comfortable about my online presence now.  If a website that I use gets hacked then I’m confident in that the damage is limited to only that single site.

There Is A Catch Though…..You Still Need To Remember A Password…

le-tiss-3Meh. Thought you escaped? Nope.  You still need to remember at least one complex password and that’s the one that allows you entry to the Password Manager itself. It’s got to be complex and it’s got to memorable so you don’t forget it. Write it down and store it in a black book, share that password with a trusted family member but don’t forget it.

Don’t choose something that can be easily guessed.  As I’m a #saintsfc fan I could choose something like LeTissier7 as a password but everyone knows I’m a fan of the club as it’s mostly what I talk about on Twitter so it wouldn’t be too hard to guess.

I suggest using a pass phrase. A phrase that when you put the first letter of each word together that will be your password.  For example:

Matt Le Tissier scored the last goal for Southampton at The Dell against Arsenal in 2001!

becomes

MLTstlg4SaTDaAi2001!

A bit long and very complicated but that does the trick!

Dashlane

If you want to try Dashlane then give me a shout and I’ll refer you.  Although it has a free version my referral will get you 6 months free of the Premium service which has more functionality such as synchronising across all devices.

https://www.dashlane.com/features/password-manager