Online safety is one of the hottest topics in the digital realm these days. Continuing how much time the average person spends online and it’s no surprise that it’s a big issue. Not only are people putting our names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses online, but also everything about their medical histories, their financial information, retirement funds, the names of their spouses and kids, and almost every other piece of important information they have.
Passwords are worth their weight in gold in the digital landscape that most people work, shop, and in many instances live most of their days. If they are not protected, a hacker or cybercriminal can wreak havoc through much of the important parts of your life: abusing your finances, stealing your identity, using your medical records to falsify claims for medical expenses and prescriptions, the list goes on and on.
Things are particularly dangerous because of the amount of malware being generated on a daily basis. Thousands upon thousands of pieces of malicious code that generates spyware, keystroke loggers, and other malware capable of swiping your passwords are constantly flooding the market.
The era where you can remember all of your passwords and have them all sophisticated enough to hold up against hackers and cybercriminals does not exist anymore.
If you know anything about how to create a strong password that can evade the likes of a hacker or a cybercriminals’ set of tools, you know that there are three main characteristics necessary:
- Use lowercase and capital letters.
- Use numbers and symbols.
- Don’t use established words, or if you do, use them in a pattern that doesn’t make any logical sense.
In other words, a password like “Astros2017” is going to get hacked. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but any hacker worth his salt can take down such a simple phrase within a few days. But alter the spelling, the capitalizations, and the word order, and you can make a password that can take hundreds of years to crack, like “2StAR170!!as”. It’s the same letters and numbers but in an irregular format and with no real comparison to any normal words in the English language.
The problem is that remembering even one password with that dynamic is tricky; remembering several would seem impossible unless you wrote them all down somewhere, defeating the point of them being secret passwords.
The solution for having to try and handle so many random complex passwords is to use a password manager. A password management system like the one from Dashlane is the way to maintain lots of complex passwords and do so without driving yourself mad trying to remember them all. A password manager will assign complicated passwords to all of your accounts, then store them in a vault protected by one master password. The master password controls everything else and is the only one you have to remember. Instead of trying to recall 20 different passwords for 20 different sites, the one password gives you access to all of them.