Each and every day there are cat burglars out on the prowl. All too often we hear news of innocent victims or their homes being violated by those who make it their mission to exploit the weaknesses of others. All of the protection in the world will do you no good to safeguard your home if you leave the backdoor open to your house. Now I know what you are thinking – I would never do that! Of course you wouldn’t do it on purpose, but what if you forgot one day? What if you didn’t set the security alarm and someone picked your house? Would you not feel violated?
Well the same scenario plays out day after day online with websites across the Internet. Many people choose simple passwords which they feel are easier to remember – their son’s name, their date of birth, their phone number, etc. Sound familiar? Are you guilty of this?
Most of the time when you signup for an account on a website, you are provided with a status bar indicating the level of complexity of your password. But do you pay attention to it? Many of us do not. Even when we are told we have to use a mix of upper and lowercase letters and numbers, what do we do? We take our password of jimmy and make it Jimmy or J1mmy. Now if I know your son’s name is Jimmy and the a person attempting to gain access to your account knows this, chances are they are going to try Jimmy, jimmy, j1mmy, etc., to see if they work.
Your job is defeat the cat burglars and put the lockdown on them before they can even peek through the window. To do that you need to make a super duper stealthy password combining upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols, and make it unique for every website you sign up for. This is very important when choosing a password to access your website. A website without a strong password may as well just publish their customer database or other sensitive information directly on their homepage for the world to see.
Now I know what you are thinking. How in the world am I going to be able to create a super stealthy password to thwart off the would-be hacker? There are a few tools which you can download and install on your computer and/or web browser to make this a simple process.
RoboForm Everywhere / Mac & PC – Allows you to easily create secure passwords and as an added benefit it also auto-fills forms in your web browser when you are signing up for a website. Provides you unlimited access to all your RoboForm data on multiple computers, USBs, tablets, and mobile devices. RoboForm Everywhere seamlessly keeps your passwords and other data in sync.
AnyPassword / PC – This programs also allows you to generate secure passwords. It is a desktop application which runs only on Windows. It also provides the ability to store sensitive financial information like credit cards and bank accounts. AnyPassword comes in 2 versions – free and pro. The pro version simply allows you to store more account logins within it.
Kaspersky Password Manager / PC – A unique feature of this software is that it employs an optional virtual keyboard for the extra security conscious person. Essentially you use your mouse to enter a master password on the on-screen keyboard to access all of the individual passwords stored within the program. This is again a Windows only software, but also works in Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox web browsers.
1Password / Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android – I saved the best for last! This is by far my personal favorite as it works on almost every device out there. It can create strong, unique passwords for you, remember them, and restore them, all directly in your web browser. Ecommerce shopping is made a breeze with this app. It will automatically insert your credit card number on checkout. No more wondering what you did with your purse or wallet. 1Password provides a 30-day free trial, after which its only $49.99. A steal if you ask me when you consider the peace of mind which it provides.
Regardless of which program you choose, each of them has the ability to generate super secure passwords. Your old password of jimmy for your website login will now be something like S(cI19%2[!024cH@1dn-% and, best of all, you never have to remember it! It will forever be saved safely and securely within your password manager application. The next time you go to your website to log in, you will easily be able to pull it from the password manager. Many of the options above also work with your web browser directly and they will pull in the password as soon as you visit the login screen.
Stop what you are doing right now and take immediate action to provide your website with the protection it so desperately deserves. Did you find value in this? If so I welcome you to share this with your colleagues and friends by clicking the share links below. If you have ever been the victim of a website attack, share your story below.