Data security couldn’t be more important than it is now. We hear about how accounts are getting compromised almost every week in the media these days that it’s hard to ignore the importance of keeping your credentials safe.
If you don’t want your details leaked online, or important information stolen, start by not having a weak password in the first place.
This advice couldn’t be more straight forward than it is, yet so many people fail to take real note of this advice despite the numerous news articles about compromised accounts and leaked personal information.
It’s astonishing in this day and age that we still see published lists of commonly used passwords to still contain things such as “12345”, “password” and “abc123” ¹
Using such passwords make it much easier to get into your account as they are very easy to guess providing you little to no security at all.
However, without diving in to scrutinise those who use such passwords, there could be several reasons why people resort to weak passwords.
Choosing a secure password isn’t easy, nor are they easy to remember considering how many we have to deal with these days. We live in a digital age where an account is needed for almost everything. Keeping hold of all these passwords are proving troublesome. We often revert to either using a low security password to keep up with the amount of passwords we have to remember, using the same one for all accounts, or simply resort to resetting them each and every time we needed to access the account.
Your one weak password could become the gateway to all your other accounts you have floating around the internet. For example, if someone gained access to your email account as a result of having a weak password, that person could then use this email access to reset passwords to accounts associated with the email, gaining access to other services you’ve signed up for on the internet.
The same would be true for Facebook too. There are increasingly more services online which allow you to sign up and log in using an existing Facebook account. This may seem convenient, but if you are using a weak password for your Facebook account then that alone becomes the keys to your digital kingdom.
Whilst we could sit here and stress the importance of using high-quality unique passwords, at the end of the day, it doesn’t make the advice easier to follow.
There are many tools online that you could use to help you store passwords securely for the sheer amount of accounts we have on the internet today. Services such as Dashlane or LastPass are very popular tools that are available to use for free. These services not only let you store your accounts and passwords securely in one place, but also helps you pick high-quality secure passwords that you may want to use for the accounts that hold higher levels of sensitive personal information. However, it is important that you set an equally secure master password to access these services. Using these services, you would essentially only need to remember 1 highly secure password.
Both of these password vault managers are very intuitive and easy to use, and require no technical knowledge. If you are more technically minded and are wary of using online services to keep your account logins safe, you could look at using services such as Keepass. The way that Keepass works (and it’s completely free, too), means that only authorised computers can access the password manager. Authorised computers must have a unique file local to the computer to grant it access.
Using these pieces of software or services to help you manage your online accounts would help you break the lazy habit of using weak or the same passwords for the sake of convenience. You will no longer have an excuse for not keeping up with password security, and when an online account of yours becomes compromised in the latest hacking scandal, you now have a password manager to easily manage this and change to another higher security password.
Finally, we thought we’ll leave you with this cool little tool that gauges how secure your password is – howsecureismypassword.net