Passwords…we all have to use them and the requirements keep getting more and more outrageous to remember. Capital letter, special characters, a number, another number, your favorite color spell backwards in a foreign language. Okay, so maybe that last one seems a bit far fetched, but not really, am I right? And while taking the effort to create secure passwords in your business or personal life can be frustrating, it’s absolutely necessaery.
In fact, in order to protect your identity and likely large number of online accounts you need a password strong enough to withstand brute force and dictionary hacking tactics, but it also needs to be easy to remember!
I, too, am guilty of rotating a series of passwords. This is considered the worst thing you can do when practicing password protection skills. Simply adding a special character to the end of a your current password doesn’t cut it for long term safety of your account(s).
All too often we use the same password(s) for multiple online accounts because let’s face it, one or two passwords is easier to remember that a long strung out complicated mess of a password right? Let’s agree to stop that today by using one of the following methods for easy and effective password management.
Method 1: Memorize Complicated Passwords
While you might be thinking this is the best option for you…it’s not! Why work harder when you can work smarter. Eventually you will fall into a routine of using the same special characters or rotation of “strong” passwords. Don’t fool yourself, get smarter and switch to a password manager!
- No one can hack your brain
- Too many to list.
Method 2: Use Built-In Browser Password Generator
Why not use built in browser password generators you ask?
Simply put, a web browser is meant to focus on one thing…browsing the web. Google Chrome is by far one of the most popular browsers out there. In fact, there is a good chance you are viewing this post from a Chrome browser or device right now. And while you might think utilizing the browsers password manager function is the quick and safe, it might not be as safe as you think.
A browser can generate passwords quickly and save them to automatically fill in your favorite sites, but there are a couple of drawbacks:
- If someone is savvy enough to figure out your local password, then they can access all of that information without having to enter a master password that is utilized by password management programs and apps.
- When software developers develop a web browser, they focus on the main function of browsing the web. That means that less time is focused on the best possible password solution for you. The fancier something is, the more parts it has to break.
Ultimately, the fancier something is, the more parts it has to break.
- Easy to use
- Built in to the browser
- Easily accessible if someone knows your local password
Method 3: Use Password Management Software
Password management software is developed and maintained to do one thing and one thing only: create secure passwords and store them securely via encrypted server. Password managers usually (or should) store information behind a master password that is not stored in the saved passwords within the manager. So, all you have to do is come up with a secure pass phrase for your master password.
The following are a couple of options we recommend to help you do just that:
LastPass provides you with a free password management system for use on mobile or desktop devices. LastPass works on just about any devices and browser combination you can come up with. You can generate secure passwords using their password generator, complete with parameter settings to avoid or add certain characters, length of password, and even provide you with an encrypted digital wallet to store your online shopping information.
One of the only downsides I find with LastPass is the free version only allows you access your passwords on one device. But, if you use your mobile device for most of your web browsing and shopping or a dedicated computer for work, then LastPass could be the best fit for you.
- Encrypted file storage
- Multiple subscription tiers
- Multiple Browser Plugins available
- Limited to one device
- No file storage included in free plan
BitWarden is similar in form and function to LastPass. BitWarden utilizes encryption to store your passwords just the same way as most password managers do. BitWarden has the added benefit of allowing users at any subscription tier (even free) to install the software on multiple devices. That means you can have access to all of your passwords wherever you are and on any device at the same time. This makes it much easier to be on the go and then return to your work station and seamlessly login to whatever platform you need to use.
BitWarden also offers users encrypted password sharing via the app. This is ideal if you have a small business with very few employees and you need to send them login information but don’t want them to have the actual password to the site you need them to access.
- Easy to use
- Multiple Browser plugins available
- Multiple device install
- No file storage included in free plan
If you are still dead set on not utilizing technology to store you passwords completely and you don’t mind typing lots of random characters then the QWERTY Card solution could work well for you as it’s one of the simplest ways to create strong and secure passwords without having to rely on a program for your password protection.
It works like this: you enter the unique code on the “space bar” of the card, use your secret word/pass phrase, and then use the keyboard to type in the name of the site you are using. Each card purchased contains a different set of unique random characters for the space bar code as well as the keyboard letters. This way all you have to memorize is the secret word or passphrase. Even if you lose your card, anyone that finds it would never know your secret word. For example, based off of the card shown below, your Facebook password might look like:
- Unique set of symbols for each card.
- Strong and secure password creation.
- Stored in your wallet or purse.
- Risk of losing a physical card
- Purchase required
Create Secure Passwords for Your Business
So, I think we can agree that it’s time to think about switching to a password management system to reduce your risk of personal information being hacked or stolen. But, I also need to mention that having a secure password is only the beginning. If you have a website or online tech platforms that you use for your business – then there are additional security measures that should be in place. Not sure if your website could withstand a hacking attempt? Schedule a FREE Consultation and let’s chat about how we can help ensure it is!