Thursday, July 16, 2015

Password Manager Adds Protection

If you spend any amount of time online, you know that you need a password for everything. Checking your email, reading your favorite articles, sharing your favorite recipes, keeping in touch with friends – it seems like everyone wants you to create a password. Most people end up using simple passwords or the same one for different sites; which puts them at risk for identity theft.

Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information without your permission. The best way to protect yourself is to limit access to your personally identifiable information. You do this by not carrying any cards or papers that show your social security number, shred documents before you throw them away, and only give your social security number when absolutely necessary. You should also be careful where you use your credit and debit cards, and where you enter data online.

Because much of your personal data is stored electronically, a password manager can help keep you protected. Passwords should be long, complex, and unique for each site. They should include letters (capital and lowercase), numbers, and symbols. You should always avoid the most common passwords such as pet names and birthdays. Some passwords managers can generate random passwords for you. Passwords made up of random characters are more difficult to crack than those made up of words.

Unless you are Rain Man, it is unlikely that you will be able to remember all these complex passwords yourself. This does not mean that you should just switch to simple passwords. Hackers love it when you go that route because the passwords that are easiest to remember are also easiest to crack. Instead, let a passwords manager create and store complex passwords for you. These programs allow you to log on to multiple sites and programs using one master password. You setup a complex password for each individual site (or let the program create the password for you), then never have to type it in or remember it again.

With a passwords manager, one complex master password keeps you from having to enter any others.

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