Wednesday, August 3, 2022
One thing we all wish for is for something to make our lives easier. To simplify things.
We’re already stressed by school, work, and taking care of our families that, at times, it can feel as though you don’t have enough energy left to worry about something like making strong and secure passwords for all our accounts.
Passwords that are strong and unguessable can be hard to remember and it’s more than a little frustrating when you forget your password. At the same time, using personal information, including our name, birthday, or other family member’s names, to create a password (and then re-using them) has made it much easier for cybercriminals to hack into your accounts.
So much so, it leads to the kind of data breaches you hear about in the news on an almost daily basis. Thankfully, there’s a better solution that’s both convenient and secure. What is it? A password manager!
We have all been told that a password should be complex and at least 12 characters in length using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols (i.e. punctuation); maybe even a phrase within it. The longer it is, the more protection it provides for you to be avoid being a victim of identity theft or someone stealing your money or account information. But if you are like me, I have countless accounts online for work, kids, finances, social media, medical, and so on. So coming up with a different password for every online account I have can be daunting to say the least. So why work hard when you can work smart AND be more secure?!?
Here’s how it works: A password manager is a program that generates and stores all passwords in a safe location. You can think of the safe location as a vault. Having this vault is designed to help you manage all of the passwords you rely on and use to protect your accounts – with a single, master complex password.
If you are looking into getting yourself, or your family, a password manager, you have a lot of options to choose from. There are three types of password managers called offline, online, and stateless. The most popular and widely used password managers are online, so we’ll focus on that as an option that’s out there for you to consider.
Keep in mind, too, as with a lot of things, there are ‘free’ versions of some of the more popular password managers that you can download and use, but many of these providers also offer a wider range of services at a cost – depending on the number of accounts you need (or can afford based on your budget) and how much security is required.
Also, be sure you are using a company with a stellar reputation. The password manager I use, for example, is not only great, but also very honest with me (and it’s millions of users) when they suspected a cyber breach. (Even the best can get hacked.) But they responded fast and with integrity. That means as much to me as their secure systems.
An Added Bonus to Family Accounts! Many password managers allow for you to set it up on your kid’s devices, in which you as a parent will have access to in case you need to check in on their accounts. Moreover, many use the family accounts for aging parents as well so that if that if they get sick, you can take care of their affairs and have access to their accounts in a secure way.
As a starting point, here’s a list of some of the best password managers to consider from our good writers at CyberNews.com, including:
You can also google “password managers” for more options but be sure you are researching the company before subscribing and use a strong master password.
Being secure doesn’t have to be inconvenient and frustrating. With tools like a password manager, you can simplify your life, enjoy some well-deserved peace of mind, and keep your accounts safe from cyber attackers.
More cyber tips can be found at https://www.in.gov/cybersecurity.