Never Too Old (To Learn Something New)

Password managers

Having spent 39 years in IT, here are my suggestions regarding online passwords.

First, do not use passwords that are comprised of family names, pet names, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  DO use strong, complex passwords.  (A password manger will make this VERY EASY.)

Second, NEVER use the same password for multiple accounts.  (A password manager will make this VERY EASY.)  Why? If a hacker was able to get into (let’s say) your Amazon account & glean your Amazon password, they can try that same email/password to see if you have an account with Best Buy, Home Depot or even Chase, Wells Fargo, etc.

Third, DO use a good password manager.  I’ve used Roboform for about 10 years but there are other good ones out there.  A good password manager will also generate strong passwords for you.  All you need to remember is the master password that unlocks the password manager.

Fourth, DO NOT LOSE your master password & DO NOT keep it on a sticky note that’s on your monitor.  A good password manager, like any good security/encryption app does not retain your master password.  Otherwise, what would be the point?  If a hacker (or an unscrupulous employee) can glean your master password, then they can decrypt all your other passwords. SO… once you select your master (encryption/decryption) password, DO NOT FORGET IT.  If you do, no one will be able to help you decrypt the password manager database.  It’s also probably a good idea to write it down & put it in a safe  or safe deposit box, in case something were to happen to you.

Fifth, do no use public wifi/internet access unless you use a VPN tool such as hotspotshield.  If this is beyond your skill set, simply do not use public wifi/internet.  When sharing a network wifi, bad guys can use sniffer apps to log your keystrokes so they can get your login credentials.

With Roboform, I never have to type in my passwords (other than the main one that opens it up).  It will also fill in forms for me, say when I’m ordering something online, Roboform will default my shipping address as well as my credit card info (number, expiration date, security code).  Roboform is on most platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, etc.  It will also SYNC changes.  IOW, if I add a new entry or change an existing one on my PC, it gets sync’d to the Roboform cloud so that the new info is available from my iPhone.  Again, there are other good password managers out there.  Roboform happens to be the one I have used for many years.  In fact, Roboform has performed so well for me, over the years, that I often have other info in there such as our dogs’ microchip numbers, social security numbers, bank account numbers, etc.

This is a screen cap of Roboform’s password generation tool.  As you can see, you can specify how long you want the password to be, if you want it to include special characters and/or upper/lower case and Roboform will tell you how strong (or not) it is.  (Some websites require your password to have at least one upper case, one lower case and one special character.)  As you might imagine, this would be a difficult password for someone to guess. And you (I?) don’t have to remember it because Roboform does that for me!

Roboform password generator

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