Online personal information security is a topic that affects everyone. While we may be completely aware of the dangers and risks involved in not being diligent about our passwords, so many of us fall into the same trap of either using slight variations or even the exact same password across multiple platforms.
We completely understand that this is a problem, and equally why people do it. That is why we are here to help you first create a password that is near impossible to crack, and also to help you manage all of your passwords across different platforms and accounts.
Is your online information safe?
It is easy to forget quite how much of our personal information is stored online. Everything from your home and work address, contact email, and telephone numbers, to more personal demographic information that we enter into our websites, our digital identities are contained on multiple online platforms.
We all know how important it is to keep all of this information safe and secure. The problem is that the one thing we have to do this—passwords—are a real pain to remember. That is if we want to use genuinely strong passwords on each account we have online.
So, short of writing down the password for each of your accounts, what is the solution?
This is where investing in a password manager could be the smartest thing you can possibly do.
The problem with ‘strong’ passwords
Before you look to a password manager for help, there is one very important thing to address first, and that is the quality of your passwords themselves.
We have been told countless times that it is extremely important to use a strong password with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. It’s no wonder then that people find it so hard to remember passwords!
In order to get around the issue of having to remember so many different passwords, many people use slightly different versions of, or even the same passwords across all of their accounts, regardless of how important they are. Being in the business we are, we hear from many of our clients their passwords, and its scary! Here is a typical password (never use it!!) Word (replace the word “Word” with any word) and then they place the number one “1” behind it like this. Word1 (hackers are loving this!) And the ones that want to make their password even more secure add one special character behind it (and most of the time they all use the same special character!) You got it the most often used is the explanation character “!” so now that password looks like this “Word1!“. “Houston we have a problem”.
Many years ago I was helping a client that had an e-commerce store. Their eCommerce store had sales of approximately $35,000 a month. The owner gave me his password and it was the word “password“, to the STORES ADMIN ACCOUNT!!! An eCommerce store collecting people’s personal information!
For all, that’s good in the world Stop this Madness! And please get serious with your password.
And what’s worse most people will use their Facebook passwords all over the place. So, to put that in other words, it’s like saying that their Facebook login information is just as important as their online bank or email password.
Why is this such a bad idea (if you haven’t figured it out already)?
Simply put, it makes a hacker’s life a whole lot easier when all of your accounts have the same or similar passwords because they can use complex algorithms to guess them more quickly and easily.
Now you’re probably thinking, but don’t all of these systems have multi-step verification (2FA or MFA) on passwords now?
Now you’re probably thinking, but don’t all of these systems have multi-step verification (2FA or MFA) on passwords now?
That’s right, they do. But the problem with this is that there are still ways for bad actors to get around this.
Your most important password to protect
Your email password is the most important of all passwords you have.
Because your email effectively acts as a gateway to access any other password associated with your name. That is because, when a password is connected to your name (or username), it must also be connected to your email address.
This means that with your email address and password, a hacker can not only change your email password locking you out of your account, but they can also reset almost any of your other passwords online by requesting a password reset code.
The word ‘almost’ is important here because, as we mentioned earlier, a number of higher-profile sites—normally social media platforms, online banking, and email providers—will have in place two-step authentication to make any security changes to your account.
Having two-step verification for your accounts is a great solution to improving the security of your personal information.
But, this is reliant on you having your mobile device safe at all times. Therefore, if you were to lose your mobile or have it stolen, you MUST change your email password immediately.
An additional reason for doing this is that your mobile phone will by default leave applications open and logged in for ease of use. This means that if someone was to steal your mobile, they would have immediate access to your email account.
By having access to your personal email and mobile device, hackers can impersonate you on any digital service effectively stealing your identity.
How to create a strong and easy-to-remember password
You are probably starting to feel quite insecure about your online security right now, and that is completely understandable. So instead of just scaring you, we thought it would be a better idea to bestow on you some wisdom and give you the tools you need to create genuinely strong and easy-to-remember passwords.
What you will do is actually create a long and secure password that follows a formula making it easier for you to remember, and significantly harder for any algorithm to crack.
This is our password formula that will allow you to create a secure long easy to remember password!
In return, all we are asking you to do is fill out the simple form below, enter your email address, and then we will send you our e-book that contains this special formula. (And don’t worry we will not spam you, we hate spammers and wannabe spammers)
Don’t worry, we don’t spam anybody on our mailing list. You will instead receive genuinely helpful information and articles that will improve your online experience significantly!
The only thing is that while this is a great solution to creating an impenetrable email address password, you still have a ton of other accounts with passwords that will need updating.
Remember, you CAN NOT use the same password for each account, and especially don’t use your master password.
So what is the solution?
What if you Never have to remember multiple passwords again
Password managers take the stress and hassle out of remembering each and every password for each and every account and their login pages. By using a secure password manager and Your One “master key” (password), you can easily access any of your accounts using any of your devices.
Why is this such a good solution?
Because it means that you can get the benefits of having genuinely strong passwords across all of your accounts without needing to remember what each of them is!
Having looked into and tested a number of different password managers, we recommend and use LastPass* and there are several others listed below.
LastPass* offers supreme functionality for a reasonable price compared with the competition, and excellent peace of mind thanks to the use of military-grade (256-bit AES) encryption to keep your data secure. Combined with this they use two-factor authentication and options for biometric login – Facial, vocal, retina-based, and fingerprint recognition.
But aside from having strong security credentials, what other benefits does LastPass* provide?
The whole platform, dashboard, and interface have been designed to be easy to navigate. This is always a deal-breaker because features are worth nothing if you cannot figure out how to use them.
Compatibility across devices using all operating systems (Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad, tablet, etc.) is second to none, so you should not be concerned about whether it will function with your setup.
Full control from the dashboard
The majority of your information will function through the “vault”. This is where LastPass stores all of your information and is the recommended place to make any amendments. That means that if you want to change a password on another website, you do so from the vault and not manually on the site via your browser.
You can easily view all of your saved information on any website via the dashboard and automatic prompts will advise you when your passwords are either out of date or if there are any duplicates. The passwords and usernames can then be changed all within the security dashboard.
An added bonus is that LastPass incorporates a username and password generator to ensure that your information is near impossible to guess, plus it prevents the temptation of reusing old passwords and usernames. The fact that this can all be done with a single click further increases the usability and accessibility of these premium security features.
Avoid security breaches
We’re starting to hear more and more about security breaches of major corporations these days. When so much personal information is stored on databases, they become prime targets for hackers. Google and Facebook are among some of the biggest names to have been in trouble recently. With Dark Web Monitoring, LastPass will cross-reference your information against databases of logins that are known to be compromised to further improve your security.
Whether you need to share passwords for work purposes or to share them with family/close friends in the case of an emergency, it is all possible.
Emergency contacts are a great way of providing assurance that in the case of an emergency, you will still be able to provide for those that depend on you. It will require some thinking ahead, but providing access to (for example) crucial bank details or insurance details can be a lifeline for some. You can set up emergency contacts easily from within the dashboard.
Save yourself time
One of the best things about any password management system is that by saving all of your passwords and enabling login via a single “master key” password, you can save yourself time. That’s because every time you log in, the simple act of not having to search around for where you have written down your password can accumulate into a significant time-saving. When you and your team are able to capitalize on this simple process, it can translate into a great boost in productivity for your business operations.
Furthermore, LastPass allows you to save auto-fill data so that your personal information can be automatically populated on websites. Again, as an isolated occasion, this is a small win, but when you apply it to multiple instances per day, per person on your team, this is huge!
Services/products associated with the problem
There are a large number of password managers available right now. Bitwarden, 1Password, Keeper, and Dashlane are but a few alternatives that offer great services and will essentially provide you with everything you need to manage your passwords and keep your information secure.
The reason why we are such big fans of LastPass is its usability. Of all of the password managers we tested, none was as well laid out and as easy to navigate as LastPass.
If you are interested in giving it a try, you can test out LastPass for free using this link, and you will also receive an X discount if you sign up to one of their plans.
And if you decide that a password manager isn’t for you, it is no problem. While many of them do offer free services, they tend to be quite limiting. LastPass for example does have a free service, but you will need to select whether you use it for mobile or desktop devices only. We would still recommend giving one a try though!
Finally, if you take ONE thing away from reading this entire article, it should be this:
Change your email password RIGHT NOW!