Keeping Track of your Passwords
With Apples’ increased security policies we have had two clients unable to get into their iPads, which means, they can’t use them. What a waste of money. On top of being so frustrated. Being, secure is great, I am glad that if they get stolen they can’t be used by anyone else, but how does that benefit the owner? Well, I am not here to knock Apple. Either you love them or you hate them. These incidents sparked interest on how important it is to keep track of your passwords. I also need to throw in the importance of stronger passwords. Towards the end, I will point you in the direction of a few good password managers that not only store your passwords but also generate stronger passwords. Did I mention some of these are free?
RISK OF NOT KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR PASSWORDS
Like I listed above, Apple won’t allow you into their IPAD without being able to prove you are the owner, which typically requires sending a picture of the receipt. You do have the receipt from 3 years ago right? Or having access to the email account that was originally setup on the device or being able to answer all of the security questions. What if that last hoop was an email account you no longer have access to? Or you don’t know the answer to the security questions because a relative set up the device? We have seen it, twice recently, and we don’t have many Apple users in our network. So the chances of this happening to you are very high. What if you keep them on a piece of paper scratched down somewhere and your two-year-old decides to color all over it? Or you keep it in a safe place so it doesn’t get lost, but can’t remember where that is.
CHANGING YOUR PASSWORDS FREQUENTLY
Many companies require you to change your passwords frequently. This is for good reason. The longer your password stays the same the longer someone has to figure out what it is. We have all seen the news articles about databases being compromised and the passwords stolen. Typically, these databases are sold to other hackers for malicious purposes. So if your LinkedIn or Yahoo password was stolen and you used the same password for 3 years and used it for everything it’s a huge pain to have to change all of your passwords at once. Especially if that password was tied to anything financial. There is a trade-off however, you need to change your passwords frequently enough to be safe and not have the same password for every account, but not change them frequently enough to where you are fed up with remembering a bunch of changing passwords that you make them all the same or barely change them. An example would be P@ssword1 to P@ssword2.
WHAT IS A STRONG PASSWORD AND DO I REALLY NEED ONE?
Strong passwords are required for most logins anymore. Passwords are so easy to figure out without the combination of at least 8 characters consisting of alpha-numeric characters, numbers, and symbols. You can make the password stronger by adding more characters. Passwords are also case sensitive. So one more hint is to use capital and lower case letters. Be creative, or use the password manager software we mention below.
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD PASSWORD MANAGERS?
We personally use KeePass. I asked my network of professionals and most of them really find Lastpass very user-friendly. They both offer a strong password generator and they both save your passwords when you ask them to. You just need to remember the password for your software. Which it will ask upon every login.
You can also have Google Chrome web browser. You must, however, have a strong password on your computer or mobile device. Good for Windows, Mac, and Linux users. You can login to chrome and it remembers your passwords if you ask it too. These will also be shared with your other devices as long as you use the same Google account. Some secure sites do block the storing of passwords. For example, online banking sites. You can also find plugins such as Strong Password Generator that work with Google Chrome to create strong passwords for you. Wow! Chrome wins in my book. Here’s Another quick tip for Chrome, uBlock Origin. uBlock Origin is a wide-spectrum blocker, which blocks adware, ads, many malicious links and some malware. An example is the pop-ups that say you are infected and to call the 800 number to get your computer fixed. These are scams. This is why we bundle it with our Complete Internet Security package.