"We're concerned that people are trading security for convenience...People are doing things on free Wi-Fi that are really alarming." - Doug Shadel, Senior State Director of Washington State AARP
Almost all of us reuse passwords, even if it is only once. We think that it is harmless. " I had to sign up for another online account, easier if I just put in the same password as always." Yes, it is easier for you, but it also makes it easier for someone to hack that password and not only gain access to that account, but also every account you used that password for. Bank accounts, credit cards, health insurance, Instagram, Facebook, etc. can all be compromised if you only use one password. In addition, using passwords such as "password123" or some other simple password, is an absolutely horrible idea. Hackers with an ordinary desktop computer are able to generate over 100 million passwords a second. An extremely weak password can be guessed within, literally, a matter of seconds.
Reusing and making weak passwords are two of the worst things you can do to undermine your personal cybersecurity. This is why you should be using a password manager.
A password manager is an application that stores all of your passwords in one place, secured behind one master password. This not only makes your passwords and accounts much more secure, but simpler. You only need to know one strong master password to gain access to all of your accounts. Not only does it store passwords, but most services will rate the passwords you currently use to see how secure they are. If not secure, they will give you the option to change them with a password generated from the manager. These manager generated passwords are extremely strong and would take hackers thousands of hours to crack, if they even were able to at all.
You might be saying to yourself, "I do not have the time to pick and use one of these password managers," but let me pose a question, which of the following situations would you prefer?
1. You spend a couple of hours on a weekend choosing and downloading a password manager, changing some passwords and making one strong password.
2. Your identity is stolen from a hacker that gained access to one of your accounts with a weak password. Oh, and you reused this password for every account you have, so now he has access to every account you made with that password. Now you spend the coming months, if not years, trying to undo all that the hacker did. Reinstating bank accounts and credit cards, endless hours on the phone trying to explain that you did not make charges, your credit score being destroyed, possibly losing your job, house, etc. The list goes on and on.
So, which of those situations do you prefer? You need to think of the worst case scenario and prepare for it. Sure, spending a couple hours inside on the computer on a beautiful Saturday or Sunday is the last thing anyone wants to do, but that sacrifice is definitely worth not the catastrophe of losing your identity.
Below are a couple of the top rated password managers. Check them out and see which fits your needs the best!
Please leave the password manager you chose and why in the comments below! Also share your experiences with them! We hope you learned something about your passwords and will now secure them if they are not already!
As always, thank you for joining us today! Please be sure to come back Monday at 6:00pm EST for another practical strategy to take back your privacy.
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