Passwords… we all struggle with them. The security people in this world say we need to think of aggressive and unique passwords, that we need to make sure that none of our passwords are reused or used for different services… that the weakest link in our personal security is the one site we use with the poorest security. We’ve all heard this, and we know the rules below:
- Use a combination of letters, numbers, and punctuation or special characters, like @ or $.
- Make some of your letters capital letters.
- Avoid using words that are listed in a dictionary.
- Avoid using names as your password.
- Change your passwords often.
- Never, ever use the same password for more than one account.
But even though we know the rules, managing passwords is HARD. Password cracking software is even getting saavy enough to replace vowels with numbers, which many of us do, like using 3 for E. And that whole rule number 6 – never use the same password? Who the heck can remember eleventy billion different passwords for eleventy billion different accounts?
So what’s the solution? Use a good password manager. It’s that simple.
What’s a password manager? It’s software that helps you organize and manage passwords, usernames, and/or logins for all the websites you have accounts. You use the software, often with an “auto generate” option, to create a unique and challenging password for each and every account you must use on the web. The only password you have to remember is the password to log into your password manager software. There are many options for password managers, each with a list of pros and cons. Lifehacker has a great article on the Five Best Password Managers that you should totally check out.
Personally, I use Last Pass, and I love it. I chose Last Pass because I am a dedicated Apple fangirl, and I have more iJunk lying around than I should, and Last Pass works across my laptops as well as all my iJunk. Last Pass has a browser plugin that auto generates passwords as well as doing other neat tricks. Also, it’s inexpensive for the premium account (which is necessary for using it on iPads, iPods, and iPhones).
So, password management justgot easier! Now you can have all those super long and super secure passwords that are totally unique across all web services easily! The best part – now you can really follow through with what the security professionals say, “the most secure password is the password that even you don’t know.”