Averma Spotlight on Managing Website Passwords
Managing website passwords is an ever more important ability in the world as technology becomes more intertwined with our lives. Website passwords are used for bank accounts, personal and work email addresses, for protecting sensitive files on PC’s and social media accounts. They are used to protect us against identity fraud, unauthorised use of accounts and stolen information. Unfortunately, it is not recommended to use the same password for all accounts, as this means if one becomes compromised, they all will. But how can someone remember all their passwords for all their accounts. Unless you are one of the rare few who can remember every password, along with whichever account it belongs to, you might find password managers useful.
Tools for Website Password Managers
There are multiple options to choose from when selecting a password manager, each with different benefits, drawbacks and levels of security. There are many different password managers, however you are trusting these sites with your passwords, so it is important to make sure they are secure, legitimate companies.
Dashlane 4 (www.dashlane.com)
Dashlane 4 is a password manager created by Dashlane UK for $39/year. It has a streamlined interface and is very easy to use. It includes the ability to automatically change the passwords on hundreds for popular sites. The tool now includes a universal two-factor authentication protocol from the Fast Identity Online Alliance as a bonus, with greatly increases security. You will require a master-password to access the tool, but does a great job narrowing down the number of passwords to remember.
LastPass 4.0 (www.lastpass.com)
LastPass 4.0 is similar to Dashline 4, with the ability to sync passwords across multiple devices at only $12/year. It includes multifactor authentication and allows passwords to be shared. This tool can automatically change passwords, and provide security reports. Its drawbacks are the poor default settings for the password generator, however these can be changed to provide optimal security. Once again, this tool narrows down the required passwords you must remember to just one master password.
Useful Website Password Tools
How Secure is My Password? (howsecureismypassword.net)
Another useful tool when it comes to password protection is https://howsecureismypassword.net/. This tool will allow you to type in your password to see how long it would take a computer to crack your password if attempted, ranging from a few hundred picoseconds (0.0000000001 seconds) for one letter passwords, to ‘forever’ for very long, very complicated passwords.
Secure Password Generator (passwordsgenerator.net)
This tool is also useful for those who want to use the most secure passwords. The password generator does exactly what one would expect, generating a random password of whatever length the user requests along with several click-box options to increase or lower the strength of the password. If checked on howsecureismypassword.net, a default password from this generator would take 3 trillion years to be cracked by a computer. The downside of this is that the password is completely random, and is not easily memorable, you would therefore have to record this password somewhere, be it on a file on your PC, or written on a piece of paper in a hidden location.
Password Tips for Websites
- A strong password will contain at least 12 characters, including numbers, symbols, Capital letters as well as lower-case letters.
- The password should not contain dictionary-recognisable words.
- Using numbers to replace characters (eg. P455w0rd instead of Password) is predictable and therefore should be avoided.
- Avoid using a single password for multiple accounts, especially accounts which have sensitive information and bank details.
- Create a password from the first letters of words in an easily memorable phrase (eg. ‘My favourite food is pizza. It costs £9.50’ = Mffip.Ic£9.50).
- If you write down a password on a piece of paper, make sure it’s only ever stored in a safe or somewhere similarly secure.
- Never tell your passwords to anyone!
Remember, the harder it is to remember your password, the harder it is to hack!