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The last password you need to remember

Your data has never been less secure.

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, a San Diego-based nonprofit corporation, the number of security breaches that revealed sensitive data in 2005 increased to 1,300 key events, including the Equifax

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Data breach in September or Yahoo

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Hack in 201

3, which affected each of its approximately 3 billion accounts, is expected to increase only as hackers become more sophisticated.

Our defense mechanisms are missing. According to an April study by Experian, 25% of consumers have forgotten a username or password in the past six months. And even if we can remember them, many passwords are less than bulletproof. Around 31% of people interviewed by Password Manager Dashlane had used the name of a pet, 23% used numbers, 22% the name of a family member and 21% a date of birth.

That's what you should not do when you create a password, security experts say.

What should you do instead?

Passwords should be at least 10 characters long, hard to remember and different for each site, said Paul Vixie, founder and chief executive officer of security firm Farsight. "The most important piece of advice I can give consumers is to stop writing passwords and never use the same password twice," he said.

Do not you think that you have the mental power to do this? There is a simple solution: The Password Manager

Most security professionals – including Vixie – recommend the use of such a service. Password managers use a master login password and then create and save a different password for each of their accounts – but users only need to remember one master password.

Using a different password for each account risks reducing the risk of breaking a website you use, said Sandor Palfy, Chief Technology Officer at LogMeIn, which has acquired the password manager LastPass in 2015, and apparently one Interest in Service

"Creating these long random passwords guarantees you more or less security in the event of a third-party website violation," he said. "If you create these unique, long, hard passwords for every single site you use, even if only one gets hurt, it will not affect your other accounts."

How to proceed:

Choose a Safe Password Manager [196590000] 19659008] When it comes to password security, Vixie said, often, the bigger the password manager company, the better the security: the most important names are Lastpass, 1Password, Dashlane, Keeper and Password Boss. After some password managers' breaches, consumers were skeptical about using the services, but Vixie said it was better than any alternative. "Even a bad password manager is probably better than no password manager," he said.

Many password managers offer a free basic service and then charge customers for using the app on multiple browsers or devices. People who are not yet sold with a password manager service can instead opt for a password-protected, encrypted table on Microsoft Excel, Vixie said. It is not advisable to write passwords on paper.

Select a master password

The first step in setting up a password manager is to select a master password. This is the only password you need to remember, so it has to be easy to remember, but long enough to be safe.

Experts suggest strings of five or six nonsensical words with a few letters interchanged with numbers (think of & # 39; Ph0neC @ rIceCreamMailbox5839393 & # 39;) instead of memorable words or even strings of unrelated characters. Some password hacks work by repeatedly trying words in the English dictionary until one breaks through, so never make your password English words.

Always make sure you have different characters and letters or enter some characters or words from other languages ​​you speak.

There are a number of methods for creating long but memorable passwords, including phonetics or turning a sentence into a password – but most importantly, you can never forget the master password. That's no joke. You will be forever excluded when you do it.

For those who have difficulty remembering a master password, password experts recommend writing down the password itself or a note and keeping it in a safe place, such as a wallet or locker.

Update your existing passwords

After you have selected and set up your main password, you can change your passwords for accounts that you have already set up. The administrator will create new passwords for each account, but in most cases you will need to make settings to change the passwords or visit each page with a browser extension attached. (Some experts recommend using only a desktop version of the app) a browser plug-in for security purposes.)

Some password managers, such as LastPass and 1Password, allow users to connect their email accounts with the service sync to automatically prompt you to change passwords for which you received sign up email. First, start with the most sensitive accounts: your email address and bank account

For each new password, managers can assign users the length and type of characters. Palfy suggests making 20 characters for each page if allowed. Some websites are shortening user passwords shorter. The inclusion of more characters and numbers is also beneficial to safety, he said.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication

In addition to using a password manager, it is important to use two-factor authentication, a security where users can only access pages by entering a code, that they retrieve from another device, such as a phone that probably only the user has access to.

With most password managers, you can set up two-factor authentication for the manager. You can also use two-factoring for many of the websites you use, including Gmail

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Facebook, Twitter

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and more. The website "Turn It On: The Ultimate Guide to Two-Factor Authentication" allows users to search on any website they log in to to see if they offer the feature.

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