How many different passwords do you use to access your secure websites and computer programs? According to Ofcom, 55% of internet users use just one password to access everything. If that wasn’t bad enough, 26% of the 1800 adults asked also said that they use easy to remember passwords like pet’s names and birthdays.
If a password is easy to remember, chances are it’s also easy to guess.
What would you do if a hacker guessed your password and accessed your websites? If a data leak from one of your websites occurs, your password and personal information quickly becomes available on the internet. A little bit of guesswork to figure out your email account and if you use the same password you’re at risk of everything becoming public and possibly even access to sites like your online banking, Paypal, etc.
It’s fairly simple to create a secure password that is still easy to remember. Avoiding anything too personal to you when choosing a password is always a good idea but a great start is to replace letters with numbers and symbols. For example, if my password was Derbyshire I could change it to D3rbysh!re, De^by5hire, dEr&yshir3 etc. If you want to read more about how to create a secure and memorable password, take a look at this blog from VPN Geeks.
The next step is to use a secure password generator such as https://strongpasswordgenerator.com/ and save each password on a password protected spreadsheet. Obviously, there is still some risk here as you’re saving the passwords in one place so if you couldn’t access that spreadsheet for any reason, you’ve lost access to your passwords too. So try and save the spreadsheet somewhere save like a protected memory stick that you remove from your computer when it’s not in use.
By far the best way of creating and storing secure passwords is to use a password storage system such as https://lastpass.com/ Lastpass generates secure passwords for each website and saves it on their own, heavily encrypted password storage server. You access the storage by using a ‘master password’ which means you only have one password to remember. There is a browser extension for the commonly used internet browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet explorer, Mozilla firefox, Safari, etc and there is a version for mobile phones and tablet devices too.
One of the hidden benefits of using secure password storage like Lastpass is that it can help you detect ‘fake’ and ‘phishing’ websites. Some websites are created to look exactly the same as the original website – such as an online banking site or Paypal. They are often so detailed that it’s impossible to tell just by looking if it’s genuine or not. Lastpass saves details of the original website when you created and saved the password. If the website is fake then the details won’t match and the option to use the password won’t come up.
It’s so important to keep your personal information and activity safe online. Creating secure passwords is essential and should be changed every now and then for added security. Remember, the only safe password is the one you can’t remember.