This is the first installation of a two part blog post that I will use to help our readers be smarter about how they use passwords. This is by no means a definitive guide on password policy or management but rather some tips and suggestions on how to make your life a little easier.
Passwords are EVERYWHERE. These days we need a password for our e-mail, for our bank accounts, another for Facebook, LinkedIn, our cellphone, our home computer, our work computer and the list goes on. It’s safe to assume that we have a less than optimal solution for managing these passwords; maybe we write them down, or worse we use really bad passwords (dates of birth, or simple, easy to remember words). That being said this post is about how you can use an application or service to help you manage the growing list of passwords you’re forced to create and remember everyday.
I implore everyone to follow my simple two step plan to get your password life in order. If you’re already using a password management tool, congratulations, you’re already being smart about passwords and you’re ready for part two. For the rest of you, let’s get to it.
Step One: Choose a Password Management Tool
There are a lot of options out there for password management tools and I’m not going to list or review them all. What you should keep in mind when choosing a password management tool is; what kind of computer do you use? And do you need it to work on more than just your computer or also a smartphone and/or tablet? Here are some password management tools that I’ve used personally or at least suggest you check out.
Step Two: Use It!
Well, that was easy. Seriously, the tool is only useful if you use it, and all of the tools mentioned above make it very easy to offload the task of remembering all these passwords to a system that’s built to do so.
The good thing about using a password management tool is that you can use a stronger password for very important accounts (like online access to your bank account). Now instead of having to remember passwords for each individual account you have, you only need to know your master password.
Coming up in part two, we’re going to tackle how to create a strong easy to remember password for times when you can’t use a randomly generated password or you need to create a master password. Now go be smart about your passwords.