The news has stories regularly about password databases at big companies getting hacked, and malware such as Heartbleed is going to become more common. If you use the same password for multiple websites, or if you use a basic password (like your dog's name) as your email password, then you're at risk.
So how can you protect yourself?
We recommend 1Password for storing all of your different passwords for different websites. As the name suggests, you only ever need to remember one master password. The software has been around since 2006 (with regular updates since then), and all your data is stored with high-level encryption on your own computer, not anyone else's server. And it can also:
- Automatically log you in to a website with one click
- Sync your passwords among multiple computers and mobile devices
- Create strong passwords, so you don’t have to come up with them
- Keep track of other info like credit card numbers, bank accounts, software licenses, and secure notes
- Tell you which of your existing passwords are not secure
If you're ready to move to 1Password, we'd be happy to help you locate all of your accounts, make new passwords, and set up the 1Password software so that it is easy to use every day. Please call us for a consultation.
If you want to try 1Password out yourself, here are some basics for using it.
1. Make sure your email password and your bank password are very secure (at least 12 characters, with letters, digits, and symbols), and put them both into 1Password immediately.
2. Make sure you install the extension for your browser (whether it’s Safari, Chrome, or Firefox) so that you can log in to a site with one click.
3. The first time you put your password info into 1Password, make sure to include the website URL for the login page. Again, for logging in with one click.
4. Have 1Password create passwords for you. Make sure to set the password recipe to at least 12 characters long, with letters, digits, and symbols. (You don’t have to remember it anymore, so you may as well make it secure.)
5. Test each login immediately after you put it into 1Password, to make sure it works.
6. Run the Security Audit to find out which are your weak and duplicate passwords.
7. Set up Dropbox to sync your passwords to other computers and mobile devices, so you can have your passwords and other secure information at the ready on your iPhone and elsewhere.
1Password costs $50 for a single user on multiple computers, and an additional $18 for iPhone and iPad. Buy it here: 1Password store
For detailed instructions plus lots of tips and tricks, buy the excellent $10 ebook Take Control of 1Password.
We've set up many clients with 1Password, so if you need help, let us know!