World Password Day. You missed it in 2016? Mark your calendar; it will be May 4th, 2017. The goal of World Password Day is to encourage users to change passwords on an annual, if not more often, basis. In theory it makes sense. The more often you change passwords, the less likely it is to be guessed by criminals. Unfortunately, just like other great “in theory only” ideas like socialism, human nature causes these theories to come crashing down to reality. They simply don’t work and in some cases they cause us humans to do the exact opposite of the intent when the password is written down. Whether it is in a spreadsheet, MS word file or a piece of paper, these are all extremely insecure and shouldn’t be used. What’s the simple alternative? Read on!
A Key Ring For Your Passwords
Think of your passwords as keys. How do you keep track of all your different keys? They’re on a keyring, right? You need a key ring for all your passwords. Well, that’s exactly what a password manager application is. With a password manager you only need to remember one passcode. All your other passwords are stored securely and accessed so easily you can change them as often as you like without ever having to remember them. Many password managers even include a password generator, so you don’t even need to think about that either. I have literally hundreds of passwords for websites and I don’t remember any of them.
NOT JUST PASSWORDS
Another benefit to most password managers is they fill in contact forms on websites for you as well. Setup your credit cards and it will securely fill that information in also. I even store secure notes in my password manager. Life Insurance Policy number and contact information, vehicle VIN #s, passport numbers, lockbox #s, etc. You get the idea. It’s a one stop to securely record any important information.
WHICH PASSWORD MANAGER
I won’t say which one to buy, but I will recommend to stay away from the free ones. Many don’t have the level of security and encryption level which you’d need to be secure. Select one which offers 2 Factor Authentication. This is also called 2FA. Talk to your IT professional at work. Ask them to consider offering this as an employee benefit. It’s a win-win. The employer gets their business passwords kept securely, for once, and the employee has a convenient place to hold their business passwords. No more “evil eye” from the IT guy because he won’t find that post-it note with the network password on it. If you think it will cost too much money, you’ll be shocked how inexpensive it will be for your company. Call us at 317-290-8702 to find out.
Even if it’s only for your personal use, take advantage of available trials and see if it doesn’t make your life much easier and at the same time, more secure. Celebrate World Password Day in 2017 in style!
About the author, Rick Rusch | Cyber Security Evangelist
For over 25 years Rick has helped companies utilize technology safely & productively. Recognizing the dangers of the Internet age several years ago, Rick has passionately focused on cybersecurity to help clients guard their reputations & their most precious asset, their digital data.