When a website, say your bank, favourite shopping site or even something like facebook asks you for a password, do you use the same one every time? Maybe you add a number to the end if you have to, but ordinarily, do you use the same password for everything?
If the answer is yes then I urge you to stop!
Just think about it for a moment, if any unscrupulous character gets hold of one password, they’ve got them all – because they know that most people have a “one-password-fits-all” approach. If they manage to gain access to your email, for example, then they’re in a great position to change all your login details for ALL your online accounts and wipe out your bank account.
It’s like having just one key for all your locks – get your car keys stolen and they can get in your house!
Now, I’m not saying this to scare you, but it is something you need to be aware of and thankfully it’s easily fixed.
So, use different passwords for EVERY account that requires one. Avoid words that can be found in the dictionary or names of your dog, cat or house name. A jumble of upper and lowercase letters with a sprinkle of numbers and characters is normally recommended.
For example: d5%HSP8fY6a*S is almost impossible to guess or hack – create a fresh one like this for every online account. Your challenge now is figuring out how to remember them all.
A basic, but simple solution is to buy yourself a wee book that you can write in all your passwords. An address book is ideal as it will make retrieval easy. The downside to this approach is that if this book gets into the wrong hands then it holds EVERYTHING! But, having said that, it is probably the most convenient and cheapest option.
If you’re a little bit more technically minded then you might want to consider a password manager programme. These bits of software safely store all your details in an encrypted file and with just a click of a button will complete the necessary online forms without you having to remember the password.
They are perfectly safe, I use one and it gives me peace of mind and has the added benefit of speeding up my web browsing because I’m no longer searching for my passwords. Even if my computer was stolen, the thief couldn’t access my private details.
So, whether you opt for the address book or the password manager, please do something about it TODAY.
P.S. I used to use a password manager called Roboform, it’s still very good but I now use one called LastPass which is free (small cost for mobile devices).
Lastpass can be found here -> LastPass
You can check out Roboform (and try for free) by clicking this link -> Roboform