How To Secure Your Passwords Better-er

I know this is a dull topic. You know this is a dull topic. I don’t know how I’m going to convince you to read this; I concede, this is not the sexiest start to an article. However, some fairly big accounts have suffered online security breaches recently. Hell, Yahoo lost 1 billion passwords.

The truth is, people are crap at passwords.

The Telegraph gave us a list of the most common passwords for 2016:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. 12345
  6. 123456789
  7. football
  8. 1234
  9. 1234567
  10. baseball

Yeah. We are really, really crap at passwords.

So here’s Shemmie’s quick and (fairly) easy password lock-down guide!

First thing’s first. One site that’s worth signing up to is:  https://haveibeenpwned.com

It will send an email to you if your email address is known to have been leaked through a hack. As an example, I received an email when Adobe got hacked, and when Codemasters got hacked. It’s always a “Oh… great” moment when you receive the email, but it’s better to be informed, and the businesses themselves can sometimes be a little… sloppy… in letting customers know their details have been released due to a hack.

Password Management

There are many password managers out there. They’re basically just a small personal database that helps to keep track of your passwords. As we all know, we’re told to use a unique, hard-to-crack password for each and every account we set up – but seriously, who the hell would be able to remember them all? And so this is where password managers come into their own.

Password managers are like anti-virus; everyone has their personal favourite, and most people don’t use them because “it’ll never happen to me”. There are two main kinds of password manager; one that keeps your passwords “your side” of the internet; either on a mobile phone, tablet or PC – and those that store your passwords “their side” of the internet, by storing your passwords in a database on the interweb. Some also do “a bit of both”.

One of the most famous password managers is LastPass – which stores your passwords on their servers on the interweb. That’s all well and good… unless, of course they get hacked.

So call me old-fashioned, but I feel safer with a password manager when I’m in control of where the data is stored.

So let’s discuss KeePass. It is a free, open-source, cross-platform password manager – available from KeePass.info

I’ve put together a slide show on how to make use of it. It’s embedded here, or you can link directly to it here.

 

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