Password protection does NOT mean having three different passwords and rotating them among all your accounts. By now we should all realize that unless we have a different password for each of our accounts we are at risk of getting our personal information stolen. The passwords should be strong and long. Each password should have capital and small letters, numbers and symbols. You should not use a dictionary word either readable or backwards within your password and it should be at least 14 characters long, the longer it is the better it is.
Some websites still only allow 8-10 characters with no symbols. If you find web sites that do not allow strong passwords don’t do business with them. Find another business that provides good security for your information.
If you are using the type of passwords I suggested above, how do you keep track and remember them? The simple answer is you don’t. Well you can if you have a photographic memory. Most of us will either have to write them down in a spreadsheet or list them in our smartphone so we have them with us all the time. Both are very bad ideas. The other problem is that we have multiple devices that we can use to shop and bank, like our smartphone, tablet and laptop or desktop computer. The answer is a password manager. There are many companies that provide this type of program or app, just search the internet for “password manager”. Here are some of the features that you should look for:
- Works across multiple devices and operating systems (iOS, Android and Windows)Securely stores your information with a strong encryptionNever stores your master password on their serversHas the ability to generate a strong passwordStores your credit card information and will fill that information in if you buy somethingChecks your current passwords to make sure that they are strong
Most of the companies offering this service will have free versions that have limited features and limit the number of passwords that you can store. If you think about what you are trying to protect upgrading to the paid versions that has all the features is very cheap insurance.
You hear all the time about stores and banks being hacked and your information being stolen. The best way to protect yourself is with very strong and unique passwords. And change them if you hear that a store or bank that you do business with was hacked, password managers make it very easy.