In addition, there are still the accounts we need to keep the light on, making it impossible to remember every single password.
It's enough to get someone to turn the internet around the table. (I wish it was possible, I really do.) Every time we try to do anything online, we have a lot of problems with password fatigue.
Password boredom usually makes us decide that it's useless anyway, and we just hold you to the bad password habits we've already developed. Like using the same password for everything. Or never change it. Worse still, many people will create the simplest and hacker-friendly passwords such as "123456". This house of cards is designed to collapse in the worst ways, such as identity theft, laxed bank accounts, and the hijacking of your email and social media profiles.
It does not have to be that way. Times have changed, angry password grandpa! It turns out that you can now be lazy and alert with a solid, reputable password manager and always be one step ahead of the herd of sacrifices.
A password manager is an app for all your devices – phone, laptop, tablet and any other browser you use – that automatically fills in usernames and passwords for all your online accounts. A password manager stores your passwords and provides a simple and secure way to access all your accounts on any device. With a manager, your 50 million passwords are stored and securely stored in an encrypted vault that you can search if needed. You only have to remember one master password.
Password managers have a lot of advantages. You can change all your passwords without having to remember new ones. Even for this secret Instagram account that you made after a few too many beers and did not touch for five years. All your passwords are kept in one extremely secure, encrypted virtual vault – but with a secure app that works on all your devices. Password managers can help you find and change weak or duplicate passwords. In addition, these handy tools also help you create great passwords that comply with the current policies and common password protection policies.
If you look around online, you'll find a long list of steps to make your passwords more secure and vulnerable. Evidence can be confusing and overwhelming. It does not help that every stupid little box "Enter your new password" contains bizarre and sometimes contradictory password-making rules. A great thing about password managers is that they can generate really secure passwords for you whenever you need one. You can also use password generators for trusted sites such as LastPass or Norton.
Please note some basic information about passwords:
- Create strong passwords with at least 12 to 16 characters.
- don Do not use pet or family names, your address, Social Security number, date of birth, or other personal information.
- It's annoying, but you should never recycle or reuse a password every three months.
- Change your password every three months or if there is a security incident.
- Do not let Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or any other browser save passwords for you.
- Use password phrases (usually six or more words long) to ensure the best possible security.
- Numbers and symbols, if allowed by the app or site.
Once you've set your passwords, you need to protect them with good password hygiene. If you need to copy them somewhere, make sure they are out of the way. Do not share your passwords and block "shoulder surfing" by hiding your screen while typing in a password to make sure nobody is watching you. The safest way to protect your passwords is to use a password manager.
It's important to understand that password managers are a line of much-needed self-defense for our own safety: I probably do not need to remind you Most companies can not trust your safety or privacy. Every week, there are headlines about a company hacking its emails, its website, its Twitter accounts, or anything else. Many well-known websites that routinely collect customer information have inappropriate or dangerously loose password practices. A manager helps you to stay one step ahead of other people's mistakes.
It's not good to be true, I swear. Password managers protect your data by storing it in an encrypted vault, in addition to a secure backup location of your choice such as Dropbox or an external drive. No one can open your password safe or backup copy unless they have access to it (the application's encryption keys) and know their primary password. In this way, no one can accidentally recognize your passwords, as if you saved them in a text file. And you can create really complicated passwords because the manager logs them (and saves them for you).
Password managers also have a cool feature that allows them to create a randomly generated, complex password for you with just a click of a button – and they will remember it when you decide to use it. You can also perform password-cleansing tasks, such as: For example, if you want to remove reused passwords. Some, like 1Password and LastPass, even tell you when a site you used has been violated or hacked so you can change your password before something terrible happens.
Where do you start? Well, first you decide which one you want to use. Make sure it is reputable and you pay for it. Free password managers are dodgy; If it's free, there will be a catch, such as bugs, dirty data practices, or lack of support in case something goes wrong. Imagine it as an insurance policy: a necessary evil, even though it's only a few dollars a month, and password managers are certainly more reliable and directly more advantageous than asserting claims for a car wreck.
If you choose one, google a little for reviews and articles to make sure they are right for you. Most people, including us, like 1Password and LastPass. Dashlane is also rated high, although it has more restrictions than the others. Both LastPass and Dashlane have free versions if you are broke, although these plans are less flexible. (Full disclosure: I use 1Password, I'm not affiliated with the company, and a paying customer.) Avoid fraud and download the apps directly from the company's official website.
Setting up the password manager is a breeze. Sign up for your account and do all the billing. If you create a family account, you will invite everyone else after logging in. However, if someone in your family has an account, ask them to invite you. Then download the manager's apps to your devices and make sure you get the extension for your browser. If you want to enter a password, just click the extension icon next to your address bar and sign in.
Open the app and get started. Since you really only have to remember your master password after that, you make it a long sentence – a short sentence into which a number and a symbol are inserted. For example, you can use a dollar sign ($) instead of an "S" or a "3" instead of an "E". Then start using and visiting apps and sites where you have accounts. The password manager prompts you to save your login, and from then on he will know when you will log in somewhere and ask you to enter your username and password. That's one of the cool things: password managers do not do things without your permission.
Most managers have "Quick Fill" links that do the work to sign up for you after you enter your Master Password. If, for some reason, you need to enter a password manually, you can simply open the manager and display it.
Some also offer the storage of your credit cards and addresses. Incidentally, this is something you should never entrust to anything but a password manager. I'm not saying this to offend Apple's keychain or Chrome's auto-filling. These companies have incredible security teams. I only know the facts about how criminals can exploit and extract your credentials from browsers, phones, and operating systems, and your confidence in a password manager is much better. And they are far safer than leaving it to a retail website to store that information.
While only one monster makes fun of someone who has been hurt by "123456" as a password, you need to ensure this is not "one." Password managers help us with this, although we do not want to tell you that password management is fun. Another kind of monster believes that.
Images: Brett Putman for Engadget (phones with software); Natali_Mis on Getty Images (padlock phone)