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The Password Predicament

Passwords can become a big problem if not managed properly...

How passwords can become a big problem

“Ah” they said, “but I have all my passwords written down somewhere!”

Are your passwords written down somewhere? This is the equivalent of hiding your front door key under the front door mat. If you lose this information, or if it has been found by someone who shouldn’t have them, you can only assume the worst – that all of your online accounts and your identity are at risk. Just having one of your passwords could give any bad agent potential access to your online identity. Soon you may find that your imposter is causing grief on Facebook, you may discover you owe money, or find that your bank account is suddenly empty.

Often given is the excuse that “I’m just a nobody, why would anyone want to be me?” The reason that they would like your identity is because you are a real person and they can use your details as an alias for whatever they want to get up to. That’s why your personal information is so valuable to a criminal.

If you like to use the same password for everything, then eventually you will learn why this is a mistake, it’s just a matter of time and a bit of bad luck. Be sure to always use at least 8 characters that are a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, and at least 1 number and 1 special character like “?” Make sure that your password is not easy to guess and not based on anything someone could know about you, like your pet’s name.

Alternatively, you could use a much longer password called a “passphrase”. This could be part of a sentence from a book (but not lyrics from a song!). For example, a passphrase that is something like “The mountain is 4000ft high!” would be quite secure – but please don’t use this example!

The best way to manage your passwords is to use a well-known password manager like Lastpass to create and store your unhackable passwords. We covered this subject in this earlier post.

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