Would you believe that over 80% of data breaches online are caused by weak or reused passwords? That’s right. Every time you reuse the same password for Netflix, your bank account, and Gmail and Facebook logins, you’re practically asking for a data breach. One of the most important things you can do to protect your data privacy is to make sure every digital account you access has its own strong, unique password.
What is a strong password and why does it matter?
A strong password is one that is a minimum of 12 characters long, contains numbers, symbols, and both lower-case and upper-case letters. It is NOT something that is easy to guess, like your first-born’s name and birthday—information that may be readily available to hackers and identity thieves, especially if you haven’t removed you and your family’s data from people-finder sites.
Coming up with unique passwords that are also strong is one thing, but how are you supposed to remember them all? After all, isn’t that why you tend to repeat the same familiar passwords—because it’s easy?
The truth is you can’t remember them all. But a password manager tool can. A password manager creates, remembers, and automatically fills in passwords when prompted.
At TRACE-X, we recommend two great password manager services: 1Password and LastPass. Both are easy-to-use and offer free accounts and mobile apps that allow you to manage your passwords on the fly. For a fee, you can upgrade and add even more functionality and privacy protection. If all you need is to add unique password protection to every online login, either of the free services is more than adequate.
The best password can’t be cracked
Both LastPass and 1Password allow you to create your own strong, unique passwords or you can let the password manager do it for you. The automatically generated passwords tend to be cryptic, nonsensical, and much longer than your typical password making them virtually impossible for someone to hack. In other words, they’re the best, most secure kind of passwords there are. Fortunately, these difficult-to-decrypt passwords are a breeze to use through the password management tool.
Initially, it takes a bit of time to set up all your logins for every account you use. However, that small investment of time is well worth the effort. It’s that ounce of effort that beats a pound of cures you’d be facing if you were hacked because someone guessed ilovebilly1972 is your banking login password.