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Simplify and Secure Your Passwords

It seems that almost every site on the Web requires a password. At least twice a week, I get an email from someone who wants me to join yet another site, which requires yet another username and password.

You can cop out and use the same username and password combination, but that’s always possible since some sites let you use numbers and symbols in your password and some don’t, or the user name you want may be taken. Besides that’s just asking for trouble. If you use the same password for your banking account, Gmail account, and your medical account you are leaving yourself open to exposure—if one account ends up getting hacked, all those accounts could be hacked.

But how do you manage all those user names and passwords without having a cheat sheet in a file on your computer or stuck on post-it notes next to your computer? Neither option provides the security you should reserve for passwords.

The key to surviving this is to make a small investment in a password management service that stores your passwords on a security-restricted site that you can access from any device as long as you have an Internet connection. The best thing about a password manager is that you ultimately have just the one master password to remember, which gets you access to all the different passwords for each site.

Password managers also allow you to instantly create secure and complex passwords for each of your accounts, so that you don’t end up using the same one for every account. Usually trying to create complex passwords can be tiresome and it isn’t easily remembering them all, but with a password manager it remembers all your passwords for you.

You might ask how having one password manager that holds the “key” to all my user names and passwords safe? Well it’s much safer than what you’re most likely using today and most of these password managers utilize a high-level of encryption that can’t easily be cracked.

The real security vulnerability is with your own computer and devices and any existing or future malware that it may have that could record your keystrokes or take screenshots. To prevent this, you need to make sure you have a clean device and run scans on a regular basis.

Never forget your passwords again with a password manager tool.

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Comments: (3)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 08 March, 2013, 19:35Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It's hard for a common man to believe that something on the cloud could be safer than something in their personal possession. To me, that's the main reason why password managers haven't managed to enter the mainstream despite being around for over a decade. My personal recommendation: Select passwords in a foreign language in which you're not very conversant. Such passwords are known to be very secure, as I'd highlighted here. You're unlikely to have difficulties remembering them since you anyway know only a few words in that language. What's more, others don't know which are the few words you know in a foreign language and won't be able to figure them out even if they shoulder-surf you as you're entering them on your keyboard.

Sreeram Yegappan
Sreeram Yegappan - Cognizant - London 12 March, 2013, 09:44Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Concur with the comments. If I remember correctly, even Lastpass was hacked some time back..

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 12 March, 2013, 10:57Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

That said, many people do feel safe about keeping gold and other valuables in a bank vault / locker than inside their own homes. By the same token, they might feel comfortable about storing their master passwords in eLockers offered by some banks (e.g. Wells Fargo, ICICI).