Imagine going to check your email only to discover that you can’t log in.
You carefully type your password again but sure enough it doesn’t work. You’ve been hacked. You stare dumbfounded and imagine some two bit con artist parsing through your personal information. OMFG. A shocking amount of people still use a single shoddy password. Often one they devised back in high school for everything from Facebook to Gmail to their online banking. While security technology has improved by light years, the easiest way to get hacked is still the good old password. Luckily there is a peculiarly underutilized selection of apps that can drastically improve your odds of avoiding a breach. Here are 3 reasons you need to get a password manager as well as my personal favorite.
When you use a manager you commit one master password to memory. You make sure it’s brand new, relatively complex, and completely arbitrary. If a few too many years of binge partying has you not quite trusting the old noggin, write it down on a single piece of paper. Put it somewhere ridiculously secure like your mom’s favorite photo album or in that shoebox you keep letters from your high school girlfriends.
From within this vault you will produce sophisticated alphanumeric passwords for every single account you access. When you need to login to something you simply click on the extension in your browser, and click login. Voila, you’ve just made your WordPress site or email account a lot more difficult to crack. But don’t get lazy, there are a lot of other critical security precautions to take.
A byproduct of your new system is that you feel empowered to actually log in to all those random accounts you’ve made over the years. Instead of being put off by the thought of racking your brain for which letter you were capitalizing in 2013, one click from the extension has you logged in and ready to rock in seconds. Suddenly you’re actually going to your online banking portal again instead of just feeling repulsed. You may even have a chance to figure out why the hell you spent $350 dollars on Starbucks Venti’s this month.
Peace Of Mind
Having all of your passwords in one convenient location frees up a ton of RAM in your already compartmentalized and overstimulated mind. Now you have some space in the brain piece to focus on what’s important like posting cat pictures to your favorite subreddit. You can sleep at night knowing that behind a fortress of security every login you need is securely available with one master key.
It’s important to note that while a password manager is singularly important, it should be one component of a broader security effort. Hackers are more and more sophisticated and brazen, and while it may not seem like it, everyone is at risk. Make sure to do your homework and follow all of the best practices in online security. Awareness of what wifi signals you access (don’t use public wifi for important data!) Whether or not your phones wifi is on during the course of the day (hint: it shouldn’t be). And what plugins and themes you’re using for your WordPress sites. We’ll get into all of that later.
In the meantime check out my personal favorite password manager 1password, and a strong runner up, Lastpass. Both of these are powerful, secure, and can sync to all of your devices with strong encryption through dropbox. So what are you waiting for, go get your passwords in order!