Do you use short, easy to remember passwords? Are you guilty of daisy-chaining – the practice of using the same password for different logins. The truth is, if you can remember any of your passwords, then they are probably weak.
Length over complexity
As a password, donkey-shampoo-parking is stronger than L:[email protected])>?#. Many password hacks are carried out by the brute force technique, malicious software runs through all possible key combinations at a blistering pace. Dictionary attacks are conducted in a similar manner but run through commonly used words in logical combinations. In both cases, the simplest and toughest defence is length. The time it takes the software to crack your password rises exponentially as you increase its length. The more the merrier, consider 12 characters a bare minimum.
But never mind all that, use a password manager. These are services that install an app in your web browser to look after all your password needs. This is not the same as having your web browser remember passwords. Your browser memory is local, so if you lose or break your laptop you’ve lost all your passwords. Password managers work through your browser but your data is stored on the cloud, so you can access it via any other device. But password managers do a lot more than remember your logins.
A password manager will generate passwords for you and it will happily create 64+ character passwords which hacking software would take years (literally) to bust. I use Lastpass as this provides a lot of solid features for free but there’s plenty to choose from (see link for reviews below). On your own device you can install your password manager app and you can save and access all the logins you use. On a device not your own, you can login to you password manager account and access all your stored passwords manually.
Password managers take a little time to set up and become familiar with but once you are using one you can raise the level of security on all your online logins significantly and then you’ll find it a quicker and easier way too.