Password House of Cards

One of the password golden rules is that you do not reuse passwords.

To secure you valuables and information you need a password for everything. From social media accounts to banks and credit cards from e-commerce to website logins and apps logins. The list goes on and on and on, you get the picture. We are hosing passwords we cannot remember on the cloud. What makes everything worse is that we still get hacked because our password are not strong enough. By the way this happens even with strong passwords. It just takes hackers a little longer. 

The stronger your passwords the more difficult it is to remember so we buy apps to help us remember.

They are sold with the promise that you just need to remember only one password, the master password. The others are stored online for you. Now big companies have created an even riskier way of storing your passwords. It’s called “Login with Facebook”, Login with Apple” and “Login with Email”. Essentially what this means is the you give your life’s information to one of the three. Compromised accounts in the past should actually deter us from using them but we still do. It’s convenient and easy, that is until you get hacked. 

I scanned my passwords file to see how many access points I had and how many different password I had. Strangely, I found fewer unique passwords which means I repeat some of my passwords on multiple logins. I also realised how many I cannot remember except the few I used frequently. So is there a solution to this? The simple answer is NO and the easy answer is YES but unless you live in times when the internet did not exist the answer remains a firm NO. Solution that I use are:

  • Change your password as frequently as possible and 
  • Where possible also use the fingerprint facility and photo Id and
  • Use a very strong password

There are a number of available apps which offers high encryption. You need to make up your mind which is suitable for your needs. I tried from the list below and settled on one of them and my phone. There are much much more to choose from.

  • Your phone – outdated but still my favourite
  • LastPass – all OS at a fee
  • 1Password – all OS at a fee
  • Dashlane – all OS at a fee

All these solutions offers accessibility anywhere on any operating system by charging a monthly or annual subscription. This is supposedly aimed at making your life easier, until you passwords become for sale because the company was hacked. It is strange how we so easily relinquish our security at a price with no guarantees. Ironic, considering every website and bank says not to share your PIN or password with anyone. Once you pay your information is no longer just yours but everyone else who can crack that company’s encryption.

The reason we increase security for our house is either because we live in a bad neighbourhood or our house was broken into or we fear that our house might be broken into. Don’t get me wrong, I use one of these systems and has worked very well for me over the years. I love the security of my phone. It’s with me all the time, password protected either with my fingerprint or facial recognition and it can only be hack by someone who physically has to access my phone. Before I converted to the online subscription apps I used a notepad on my phone with a password. So I had double encryption. My phone PIN and password protected notepad to access my password list. The downside is that if I were lose my phone I have to start from scratch. Trust me that’s not fun at all. 

Lastly, change you master password regularly and make it as strong as possible. 

It’s the only one you really have to remember. 

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