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:
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.
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.