It isn’t often that I preach on my blog (Or in general). I like to respect other people’s opinions, views, rants, and freedoms. But I cannot simply sit by without at least trying to get people to use better passwords and preferably a password manager. My preference is Lastpass, which honestly is worth its free pricetag and the $12 a year for premium. 90% of my friends would do just fine with Free, so please – if you haven’t tried out something like Lastpass yet, try it now.
Otherwise you’ll end up like these people (Names have been changed to protect the victims):
1. The school official I knew who was reprimanded after a student saw her password scrawled on a post-it inside her desk drawer. Said student changed his grades, got caught, and was going to get expelled until he worked out a sweet deal: Give me a suspension and I’ll tell you how I ‘hacked’ the school database. Turns out his hack was simply a good memory.
2. The many individuals whom I’ve personally ‘busted’ after they’ve used an insecure password on one of my systems (every so often I run a password audit, where I let an extremely powerful machine use all of it’s idle time cracking my own users’ passwords. I give it 3 weeks, and whatever it cracks, I ask the user to change).
3. The friends I know who have, in a pinch, revealed a password to me – only to have it be extremely embarrassing (“Uh yea… my password is just ‘password’ – but I put a capital P in there and a zero for the o – that’s good right?”)
These 3 stories are of those who got away easy – some people aren’t so lucky. You wouldn’t use the same key for every lock you have, and then give copies of that key to every company you have a relationship with, would you?
So Please, Please, Please – Start using a password manager and strong passwords. If you asked me what most of my passwords are, I’d smile and tell you I don’t know – I know 1 complex password that unlocks the rest. I can look my passwords up anytime I need them on my phone, my tablet, or my computers. It’s that easy. Do it for me, do it for the world, and ultimately, do it for yourself!