Are you the type of person that uses the same password for every website you login to? Sorry to say, but that is one of the many 'DO NOTS' when dealing with passwords. Let's face it, we need to be more secure with ourinformation, and it starts with you. We use passwords for social media sites, your banking and credit card accounts, email, documents, and the list goes on and on. In this post I want to talk about what not to do and the bad habits having to do with password management.
Don't #1: As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, using the same password for multiple sites is not a good idea and here's why. Let's say you practice this forbidden technique. Then let's say one of those sites gets compromised, which nowadays seems to be happening all the time. When this happens, your passwords have the potential to be released into the wild. At this point, your password is out there for someone to use and to top it all off, if you use the same password for many other sites, now all of your accounts on those sites have potential for being hacked.
Don't #2: Don't use short passwords. Short passwords can be easy to guess, especially if someone really wants to get in. This is done with what is called 'Brute Force Attacks' where the hacker tries to guess your password hundreds or even thousands of times until they get the right one. Passwords with 12 or more characters will be much more difficult and take a lot longer to guess.
Don't #3: Do not write down your passwords. I know what you're probably thinking; 'if I don't write them down, how will I remember them?'. The answer to that question is to use a piece of software called a password manager. These will allow you to store all your passwords in an encrypted form so that you and only you can view them. Some passwords managers like LastPass will automatically fill in your username and password when you visit a website. I use this particular password manager because it does so much more than just storing your password. You can store secure notes, credit card information, passports and a whole lot more. It even will generate a random long password for new sites or when you go to change your password on a particular site. random long passwords are really difficult if not impossible to hack. The best thing about a password manager is you never have to remember a password for any site you visit.
In summary, let's not make it easier for those that want to steal your information. Simply follow these guidelines
- Use a password manager
- Never use the same password twice for mutliple sites/accounts
- Do not write down your passwords on paper
- Use long passwords at least 12 characters. You can do this easily with LastPass.
- Use special characters in your password. for example -!@#$%^&*().