Every year my local library has a summers series of lunch presentations on Fridays. Last year they invited me to present on the topic of passwords. I am doing a similar presentation this Friday at noon about Password Security and Privacy. See the details in the flyer below. Next week, I will review the experience here on my blog.
In preparation for the event, I have been reading a recent book about privacy and security called The Art of Invisibility by Kevin Mitnick. The author is a hacker who explains a bit how technology works and a lot about how it affects you and your privacy and security. One of the most important points he makes is to make sure that you have a password on your smartphone. This will be one my first points in my presentation on Friday. If you are in the area, I hope to see you there!
There are a lot of recommendations out there about how to create secure passwords.
- Use a unique password on each site
- Make them hard to guess
- Use numbers and special characters (like *~$#@)
- Don’t write them down any where
If we do all that, how are we supposed to remember the seemingly zillions of passwords we need to remember? It seems an impossible task.
One highly recommended solution is to use a password manager. I use one every day. The most popular ones even include a password generator to help you create better passwords. Essentially, a password manager is a place to create and store your passwords. You secure access to it with a password, but this password becomes the only password you need to remember. All of your other passwords are locked in your password manager. When you need to enter a password, you simply open up your password manager to find the password for the site and copy and paste it into the login screen. Many managers even have browser plugins that will do this for you automatically!
There are many password managers out there. Most of them have a free version as well as a premium version. The premium versions are generally inexpensive (I know of one that is $12/month). The one that is best for you will depend on how you use passwords and what digital tools you use (smartphone, tablet, computer). Here is a list (in alphabetical order) of some of the most popular ones.
Finally, here are a few recent articles reviewing password managers.
So, don’t wait. It will take a little bit of work and time. But it will be worth it to protect your data and information from all the hackers and security breaches that seem to fill the news today. And if you have any questions, let me know in the comments.