Sebastien How

experiments on all things.

Password Management

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Password Safe and Dropbox, please use them.

Passwords are a fact of life nowadays, the more accounts you have, the more logins you have and the more passwords you should have. Ideally each account should have a unique strong password, usually people only have one or two passwords for all their accounts. It is important to not be in the second group where you only use one or two passwords when something goes wrong.

A web comic artist I follow was lamenting that an online account of his had been hacked and that he now needed to spend the night change all the password he could think of. At work I overheard another coworker ask for a password reset for an account they had forgotten how to get into. In a recent news article our local PD had one of its sites hacked and account credentials were posted online for everyone to see.

When things go wrong, its important to have already mitigated your personal risk. One of the better ways of doing that is by having different strong passwords for each and every account. For ease of daily use, you’ll want to be able to access your credentials everywhere you need to. That is why a password locker and a method to backup and retrieve your passwords in multiple places is important.

A password locker will allow you to store your login credentials for every site you frequent and you wont forget about the ones you frequent less either. You will be able to generate random passwords and you wont have to worry about changing passwords often and trying to memorize new passwords all the time. Only one strong password will need to be memorized at a time to access your stored credentials.

The password locker doesn’t have to be Password Safe, it could be 1password or LastPass or some other program. Whats important is that it is easy for you to use and stores your passwords securely.

The same goes for the method that you keep your secure passwords backed up and available where and when you need them. For me it was Dropbox there’s also Google Drive, SpiderOak and others, just do a Google search for “file hosting service”.

If you have more then one password you need to remember, please use a password manager