Do you use sticky notes, scraps of paper, a word processor or spreadsheet to document your passwords? Or, do you just use the SAME password every time/ every place just so you can remember it or worse yet, use a common word or phrase that can easily be guessed or “cracked” in seconds? Our digital world is routinely just a password away from being accessible to those who have the “key”. Even with strong encryption, a password that can easily be discovered will render your secure storage space an open book. So, what password strategy might we put in place that could work for us – both to make it easy enough, yet strong enough to actually serve a protective purpose? Some ground rules are in order here.
First, research has proven that the length of a password (i.e. the more characters used no matter what the composition of those characters is to create the password) is superior to a shorter password with random and varied characters. This leads us to the conclusion that a longer phrase is better than a single word. The length makes it more difficult for automated password crackers to “hack”. Statistically, the number of possibilities for each character times the number of characters in the password makes the odds of discovery much lower as the length of the password grows. So, Rule #1: Increase the length of your password to make it stronger.
Second, avoid commonly used passwords – those that we might use that are easily remembered such as “123456,” “password” and “12345678.” Adding a “1” to a common password is also a frequent practice when an alpha-numeric password is required.
So, Rule #2: Avoid common passwords, proper nouns, and any word found in a standard dictionary.
Third, once we create a “strong” password, we commit it to memory, then, we make the mistake of using it EVERYWHERE and we NEVER change it. The challenge with this is that if it gets hacked, it becomes the first password that is attempted at every popular website where you may have an account. Remember, a hacker just loves to gain access to your e-mail account. Why? Because most password reset processes routinely use your e-Mail account to send you a link to do so. If the hacker has access to your e-mail account, it is very likely your e-mail address will not only be used for SPAM, but to gain access through password reset requests to your other more sensitive accounts where financial data may be stored. So, Rule #3: Use a different unique password for each of your digital accounts, never duplicate it, AND change your passwords on a regular basis so that you don’t give a hacker UNLIMITED chances to break yours.
Fine! Now you’ve read all this and now say: “How in the world am I going to keep track of all these passwords? The whole reason I’ve been doing it the way I am is that I just have no way of securely remembering multiple, strong passwords and I don’t even know how to quickly create a STRONG password” “H E L P!”
Password creation and management has become much easier with the use of software that not only handles the secure encrypted storage, but also allows you to access and use your stored passwords to automatically login to websites and programs on each of your protected devices. These programs allow you to create and remember just one strong master password that then gives you access to the encrypted vault of all your stored passwords. The software works on multiple platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android and even encrypts and syncs your passwords to a cloud storage site so that all of your devices have immediate access to your most currently added password. One popular program that does all of this is called “Roboform”.
Other options include
To learn more about Roboform, why I recommend it, and to get a Free Trial, visit my Backup page and look for the Roboform Banner there: http://www.askavie.com/boutique/backup/
This is 7th in a series of aSKaVIE articles devoted to your productivity, digital privacy and protection. In future articles, you can look forward to tips and tricks that you can use to make sense out of your digital investments as well as reviews of new and exciting things that will likely provide value to your home and business. I invite you to write me with your questions and feedback. We’ll also be helping and inspiring others by answering your questions and that’s what makes my job so much fun! So stay tuned. Please send your questions to TheRosyReport@askavie.com.
About Avie Uniglicht: For over 30-years, Avie Uniglicht – “Your Tech Concierge™” has provided technology support and solutions to entrepreneurs who don’t have time to worry about the details. Specializing in “White-Glove Remote Room-Service,” Avie’s concept of giving you, his client, virtual “house calls” is cited regularly as invaluable and many of Avie’s clients say they couldn’t live without him on speed dial. Avie graduated Summa Cum Laude from Temple University with a BS in Business Administration. A former auditor for Price Waterhouse and past President of Ace Computer Center Inc., he is also the author of the e-Book, “Your Personal Computer Driver’s License.” Avie’s extensive business background and strong experience in accounting enhances his natural talent for helping his clients see the bigger picture regarding their business. “Your Tech Concierge” helps clients evaluate strategy so that together, they create an action plan with the end in mind. For more information or to “Ask Avie,” please call him at (888)-374-3712, and visit www.askavie.com.