Do you feel like you are drowning in passwords? Most people do.
Slowly – slowly! – we are moving out of the Age of Passwords. Better alternatives are coming.
But not yet. Today we’re overwhelmed with passwords – and they’re crucially important. Everything important on your computers and online is secured by passwords. Your passwords are your defence against identity theft, financial loss, compromised computers, and breaches of confidentiality and privilege.
Some of your passwords may have already been hacked. You have no choice: you must develop good password habits. The bad guys are constantly inventing better ways to crack your weak passwords and steal them from you, especially if you use the same password for everything.
Here are some practical tips to help get your passwords under control:
• Use LastPass! Download the free version from here: www.lastpass.com
• Create unique passwords that you can remember
• LastPass – use the password generator
• Use spaces in your password
• Never type a useful password hint
• Never answer a security question directly.
All the password tips in the world won’t help if you don’t have an easy way to look up your passwords when you need them. So use LastPass!
LastPass is a free program that memorises each password typed into a web site and automatically fills it in when you return to the same site. Once it’s up and running, the master password for LastPass is the only password you have to remember.
It can also be used as a digital encrypted notepad to record other private information – bank account numbers, credit card information, lock combinations, and anything else you need to remember.
LastPass syncs your passwords with all of your devices. There are versions of LastPass for all major browsers on Windows, Mac and Linux.
LastPass is safe to use. As long as your master password is private, no one can get into your LastPass Vault. The company never has your master password in any form and never has a decrypted copy of your data. If the bad guys or the NSA got into the LastPass servers, they would not be able to decrypt your data. And yet all your computers can open the vault in seconds. It’s a very clever, very safe system.
There are other password managers but LastPass is the best known and most widely used. You’ll spend some time learning it, but it will take less time to learn LastPass than it will take to recover from having your identity stolen by bad guys.
Never, EVER forget your LastPass master password – you can never get it back as LastPass does not store it anywhere.
If you’re not using LastPass, realistically there’s no way you’re going to create complex passwords (the ones that look like brKcV3apY9 or worse) for every web site. If you’re like most people, you use the same password all over the web.
Here is a simple trick – not foolproof but it will help:
Take that password you’ve been using everywhere and add something to it. Say your standard password is Swordfish!
Add the first letter of the web site to the beginning and the last letter to the end. Example:
• Apple: ASwordfish!e
• Google: GSwordfish!e
• Amazon: ASwordfish!n
See how it goes? Each one is unique but you can remember how it’s done. Invent your own pattern. Use the first two letters of the website at the beginning and the end (ApSwordfish!Ap, GoSwordfish!Go). Add a punctuation mark in the same place in each one (A%Swordfish!e, G%Swordfish!e). It doesn’t matter what the pattern is as long as each password turns out to be different and you can remember how you did it.
LastPass – use the password generator
LastPass users should have complex passwords. That’s the point of using it, after all. Whenever you need one, click on Generate Secure Password on the LastPass menu. A window will appear with a few options and a suggested alphanumeric string.
For more information on LastPass visit: https://www.lastpass.com/
Source: Based in article on www.brucebnews.com