FAQS - PASSWORDS AND MANAGERS
WHY CAN'T I USE MY KIDS NAME?
With the advent of social media and the world knowing everything about us, it's likely someone could guess that password. Also, it's probably short, and is an actual word. Hackers use special programs that try every word or name or number in existence. So even if they weren't directly attacking you, they can still break little Tom2012 passwords with ease. Minimum, 12 chars, letters, numbers, special characters, upper/lower case, longer would be better, and no words.
I USE TOM2012 FOR EVERYTHING, IT'S EASIER.
So, that's your email, your Facebook, your Twitter, your Paypal, your work accounts, your pictures stored on Dropbox or in Google, your location using your iPhone (So they know when you are not home), your Amazon account, your eBay account, your Netflix, and everything else you have setup, all for the accessing and the taking, and the buying, and the SPAMING of the whole world, your online reputation, your job(since all those pictures and posts and emails and texts are now out there for all to see), your boss is not happy, your friends and family are getting Malware and Pornographic emails, ads, texts and calls, because all your contacts are now on the internet for everyone to see. So you tell me, was it easier?
I USE DIFFERENT PASSWORDS AND WRITE THEM DOWN
That can work, lots of people do that. But I assume you have a large notebook, as we seem to be needing more and more passwords and credentials to get in places. Yes, there is the hope that one day we won't need them, but until then.
Do you have a backup copy? Is that kept up to date? Do you carry a copy of it with you? What if you lose it? Is it written in plain text, or some sort of code? How do you share a password with someone? Please tell me not email! So you type them in each time, the username and password, which I hope is 12-20 characters long...each time. So that keylogger malware on your system is capturing all those passwords and sending them off to the hackers. Nice. Please get a Password Manager - pay for it, get one of the top 5 rated ones. Get a family plan so everyone has one and you can share passwords, safely and securely.
SO, I PUT ALL MY PASSWORDS IN ONE PLACE, REALLY! ONLINE, ARE YOU MAD?
I know, it does sound like it. With all the news you hear about this website being hacked, or this security something is compromised, blah, blah. But it comes down to this: In the world we live in the Password manager, the strong password and the encryption that protects those credentials you need for your online life, are the best solution.
If you choose the right password manager, you can have control of the encrytion, so even if they get hacked the hackers don't get your data.
The password manager allows you to have long complicated passwords without having to remember them or to type them in. They can even store and remember other things for you, like passport numbers and driving licence information. They can tell you if you have reused a password and can help you change it, some can do that automatically. They are better than the alternative.