No one in their right mind would use the exact same key for every door in their home, yet many use the same password for everything! Not using a unique password for each websites is one of the biggest security threats out there. A compromised password creates headaches and can cost a lot of time and money. With this in mind, what can an internet user do to avoid such a mistake?
The solution is easier than it seems…
Just having a unique password for every website and service we use not only increases our security but decreases the chances falling prey to a cyber-criminal. The effect of using the same password everywhere is similar to falling dominoes; If one domino falls, the rest will fall too. Consider that you have used the same password for your bank, credit card, social media sites etc. If one of those accounts is compromised, suddenly all of those accounts are compromised.
Be creative, but secure!
In addition to unique passwords, it is important to make sure that the password is secure. Ensuring that a password is secure and hard to crack includes using variety, length, and refraining from using words.
- Using a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and other special characters will provide the variety.
- A longer password will be harder to guess, so try going with 8-12 characters.
- Refraining from using words, birthdays, and other publicly available information can make passwords more difficult to guess as well.
This doesn’t have to be stressful, it’s hard to come up with a random password that meets all the requirements on the fly! Don’t worry, there are apps out there that will generate automatic unique passwords for you to ease the process. For example, Password Factory is a free tool to help generate strong passwords for Mac and iPhone users.
“But… I have a hard time remembering multiple passwords! What can I do…?”
Although keeping track of dozens of passwords for the multitude of websites used by the average person seems daunting and overwhelming, there are solutions specifically created to help handle this task. Services such as LastPass and 1Password offer app and browser plugins that make unique password administration a breeze. These services not only keep this valuable information secure under a secure “master password” but can even auto-fill the necessary information for you as long as you are logged in.
With all of the solutions available and a little effort; keeping our internet experiences safe does not seem as daunting or difficult of a task. A little effort and research into the right tool or tools for your needs will help keep you protected and ensure you don’t have all your “eggs” in one basket.