Good resolution for this year: Use a password manager
Do you ever reuse passwords? Or do you have a couple memorized that you use everywhere?
Good practice around passwords is definitive — neither is a good idea if you answered “yes” to those questions. A good password has at least 16 characters and looks something like this: Gh27cV^?b320O#Vc!. It’s never going to be easy to remember — for good reason!
So let’s take a look at password managers. These help you set up and manage strong and unique passwords for the websites you use. They’re simple to set up and use and can help protect your personal information from hackers. I strongly recommend them.
Some of the big names are LastPass, RoboForm, KeePass and Dashlane. But there are many options, both free and with a price tag for extra features.How they work
You don’t need to set up a spreadsheet and start laboriously inputting and changing passwords. A typical password manager will install a browser plugin to capture your passwords from websites that you go to and offer to save your credentials, generating new strong passwords automatically.
They will also update changed passwords and identify weak passwords, and some will automate the password-change process for you. All you generally need to remember is the single master password that gives you access to the manager.
Just in case you’re worried about being able to access your password manager on the move, most of the top managers can also synchronize across all of your devices. For added security, many include some form of two-factor authentication. Do not use a password manager without it. If you are saving passwords in your operating system, ensure multi-factor is enabled.Other benefits
Many password managers can also save you time by auto-filling your personal data on Web forms — first and last name, email address, phone number, etc. They can also auto-fill your credit card details, which is safer than storing them at various sites.
So, act today. Install a password manager and implement strong unique passwords to help protect yourself online. If you’d like additional detail, here’s a good article from PCmag.com that evaluates many of the current offerings.