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Good Passwords Are Key to Good Security

What are the most important measures you can take to improve your online security? 

Research done by Google shows that security experts answered this question with a focus on password security. Passwords should be strong and unique, they should not include personal information such as your name, birthdate, or SSN.

Another way to secure your passwords is a password manager.

Password managers are programs that keeps track of all the usernames and passwords you use for various sites and services. When you browse a site and log in for the first time, the password manager stores the site, username and password you use. Each times when log in to the site, the password manager will fill in those fields for you.

A good password manager stores the sites, usernames, passwords and other information heavily encrypted in the cloud. This provides you with backup and enables you to access all of your sites on any device can access the password manager from. 

It would be extremely difficult for a hacker to access your information if a password manager is working properly. Recently, we've seen a string of leaks in the past year most notably Yahoo!. The hackers obtained usernames, passwords, and other personal information. Cracking even one of those master passwords would require considerable computing power and a lot of time. In the meantime, Yahoo! notified all users and prompted them to change their master password. Having to deal with such possibilities is a far better option than keeping track of passwords yourself. 

While using  password manager is a great step to securing your password, it is very important to create a password that would be difficult for a hacker to guess.

Below are some tips on creating elaborate passwords.

Use complex passwords Many user accounts have been compromised because the password was short and simple or one of many used by those unwilling to put any thought into the matter: Lists of most common passwords are usually filled with entries like '12345', 'password', 'qwerty' and 'asdf'. 

Keep dictionary words out of your passwords Even if your password is a long and complicated word, like 'antidisestablishmentarianism', it may be easy to crack. Attackers can obtain or prepare "rainbow tables," which are lists of encrypted hashes of dictionary words and compare compromised password hashes, like those from Yahoo!, to those in the table. 

Don't reuse passwords. If one of your passwords is obtained by an attacker, they may try using your email address or username and that password on other services as well. Using different passwords for every login is the safest way to go. 

Following these policies, especially at first, takes some effort and determination. The last three are effectively impossible for a normal human being without following the first one. A good password manager makes it practical to have a good password policy. We recommend LogMeOnce. These password managers can generate strong, random, unique passwords for each of your accounts. Use a good password manager and use it right and the next time you hear that some service you use has been breached you can rest easy.

Created on: Aug 22, 2018
Last updated on: Jun 16, 2024


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