By Shane Anciso
A password when its all said and done needs to be something that is a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. The reason being is we need to ensure that the password acts as a lock at the door keeping hackers from coming and taking your personal information. For instance they start with taking your email account from there taking your financial information and then causing hell and havoc not only for you and the people you interact digitally with but for your company and or the company you work for. When it comes to password security it ain’t just about you.
When hackers are coming after you most of the time they aren’t just coming after you but their coming after multiple people. Most hackers today focus on breaking passwords of big companies because they want to compromise as many accounts as possible. That’s where the money is. If their targeting you their targeting you to get to your company cause your the weakest link for whatever company you work for. In addition to that because of COVID most people are using their own computers so they know that the first place to go after is your email accounts. If they can compromise an email account that’s the key/door to get them into to all sorts of other stuff.
Unfortunately they know most people use the same passwords for multiple accounts. This is why we say you need to use different passwords for different accounts. Here’s the way I like to put it, you need to create a password that runs like a special sentence that only you know or remember for your email accounts and your financial accounts and social media accounts. Everything else can be the same password but those accounts need to be different and those account passwords need to be complex.
Here’s what I tell people don’t trust yourself because your probably not going to remember it. So what I have been advocating for over a decade is a password management software. LastPass for example. You create one special long password to get into that software and you use that software to then keep up with and then change and create unique passwords for all of your other accounts.
An alternate solution is an excel document with your passwords but you would then have to get that imported, secured, and password protected. Because if a hacker ever gets on your computer and gets access to that excel document you have now compromised EVERYTHING. Unfortunately I see it a lot people will use something like an a diary, loose paper, or a bunch of sticky notes, and write passwords down. Not good! Those things can get lost, stolen or worse you leave it in the hands of someone you trust and they abuse that information.
Your email accounts are your first line of defense the passwords on all those email accounts need to be as complex as you can make it with letters, numbers and special characters. Now most of the time people don’t want to do that so you would need a password management software that you can also put on your phone to help you keep up with those things and help you update them. Personally LastPass I can stake my reputation behind the morals and values of the CEO and the corporate officers in charge of the decision making at LastPass. They are not going to sell their company tomorrow they recently bought LogMEIn for $110 million. As a big corporation company they are invested. They have also verified their employees do not have access to the data and its encrypted before it even goes up to their servers.
Dashlane is anther good service out there. LastPass believe it or not is free to consumers on PC but is a few dollars a year to be able to access on your cell phone through an app. Dash Lane is a bit more dedicated you can use it for specific projects but they start at around $60 a year. In my opinion they are more complicated to set up but for what ever reason I have a large number of clients who stand by it and use it.
In summary don’t use the same passwords for your email accounts, financial accounts, and social media accounts. Those need to be different, those need to be complex. If those accounts go down they have a direct impact on your life. Those account need to also be set up where even if you type in the correct password that they have to send a code to your phone.Second device authorization if you can. Now
I acknowledge the technology is not perfect you lose your phone and you got a problem. So you need to make sure if you set that up that there is a way for you to set up a back up option where you can call them to get back in or they can send you an email to get beck in.
When its all said and done use a password management program I recommend LastPass because I use them. I recommend it for both your phone and computer. Remember its not just about you but its who else you compromised whether its your work, whether its your friends or family members. A lot of people have other peoples information and that becomes a problem. That’s why when it comes to passwords its important to bring a specialist on board to help you get that set up and dealt with. It can be done in a one to two hour session and that one to two hours can save you years of financial devastation.