Each week we hear about major sites on the Internet suffering from big leaks that put millions of user passwords online. But that doesn’t affect us because all the sites we use protect our passwords with some form of secret cypher code don’t they?
Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Once your password has been leaked into the wild, the criminals that use the internet for their income have overwhelming amounts of computing power at their disposal to use brute-force to work out what your password is.
What makes this worse, is that many of us use passwords that are too short or too simple, for example ‘1234’ or ‘qwerty’. And we compound this problem by using the same password across multiple different sites. But having long passwords, and so many different passwords is difficult to manage.
So what can you do to improve your passwords AND make your life easier? Enter the password manager!
I use an application called LastPass(external link).
LastPass integrates nicely with your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari) and makes your life easier by managing all the passwords for any site you need a username and password for. It will even create strong passwords for you. You will have to remember a ‘Master Password’ to get into the password manager. This should be fairly long (around 15-20 characters) and not used anywhere else. It can contain ANY keyboard characters you want. A twenty five character example password (in this case a pass phrase) might be:
Sum0 moos3 like butt3r ;)