Let’s be real here. Trying to remember a password can be a hassle. Trying to remember a whole range of passwords for everything in your personal and business life is not only impossible; it can be quite stressful…especially if you enter it incorrectly three times and the software locks you out.
Then you have to go through the whole rigamarole of resetting your password software which means having to try and remember yet another one!
And what about those places you visit that tell you your password has expired and to create a new one? Or the latest hack on one of your favourite websites that now means you have to create a new password when all you want to do is log in or on?
Of course, you could be smart and write them all down. Then what happens if you lose your list or if it’s on your phone or computer and it’s stolen?
Surely there’s a better way?
A password manager is your new best friend.
A password manager is a ‘must-have’ security tool to ensure your personal information isn’t compromised.
You can use it on your phone, laptop, tablet and any browser you use (that will autofill usernames and passwords for all of your online accounts).
A password manager stores your passwords and creates an easy, secure way to access all of your accounts on any device. All those ridiculous passwords that you struggle to remember are stored securely in an encrypted vault, that can be searched if need be.
All you have to do is remember one master password.
Why should I use a password manager?
What it boils down to is this: A password manager remembers your passwords, so you don’t have to.
They keep back-up data in a secure location of your choosing like a hard disk or an online storage option like Dropbox or Google Drive.
You can have as many passwords as you want. So no more using that one password across everything and thinking it’s going to be all right.
It isn’t. Because one day, it will happen. Someone will get hold of your password and all of a sudden, your life will be completely turned upside down.
So what are the rules when creating a password? Here are a few tips.
- Strong passwords are at least 12 to 16 characters long.
- Don’t use family names, pet names, birthdays, addresses, or other personal information.
- Never recycle or reuse a password.
- Try and change your passwords every three months, or if there’s a security incident.
- Don’t let Chrome, Firefox, Safari or any other browser save passwords for you.
- Include capital letters, numbers and symbols if the app or site allows it.
Remember too; a password manager can also help you create robust passwords and store them away for when you need them next.
But there is one password you need to remember, and that’s your master password. This is the one password that gets you in-to your ‘vault’ to see and change any passwords.
One of the best and easiest ways to maximise your online security is a passphrase.
A passphrase for your master password makes sense. By creating a unique passphrase, you’re creating an even stronger master password for your password manager, and you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’ve substantially beefed up your online security.
So, what are the best password managers?
With so many options available, here’s a brief guide of what to look for in a good password manager.
- Most secure your data, both on your machine and in the cloud using the strictest form of encryption in use today
- Most support Windows, macOS, Android and iOS and have free options available. None, however, are entirely free
- A password manager can be installed on an unlimited number of devices for a single (usually paid) account and store an unlimited number of passwords
- They also generate new, strong passwords while offering a two-factor authentication option for master passwords
- Some will also alert you to the latest data breaches
- Many offer to save your personal details, credit card numbers and other frequently used information so that they can quickly fill out online forms for you.
- None can recover your master password for you if you forget it, although some let you reset that password to something else.
At Skope IT, we use and recommend two: Roboform and Lastpass. The reason is purely personal preference…our client managers have worked with and are familiar with these particular password managers. Of course, if you wish to use another, that’s fine. Our client managers are more than happy to use the manager of your choice.
Find out more.
If you want to know more about password managers and how utilising this essential software can keep your business safe, contact the team at Skope IT.