Having to remember dozens of passwords is a pain for many of us. Using the same password for every site we visit is risky since if someone gains access to it, they will be able to login to everything to which it leads.
There is nothing more annoying than having six attempts to login to a site and be told that you have to wait an hour to attempt another login. The rule I follow is that I use the same ‘junk’ password for sites of little consequence for example, news sites that send me regular emails with various information. If someone hacks my password to these sites, it will have little impact on me since there are no privacy or financial issues involved.
My junk password is simple, a name followed by a date of birth, such as jenny30march. However, you can make it what you like, so long as it can be remembered.
Passwords to bank accounts, my email account and other accounts that are important to protect each have a separate password. While using a unique, strong password for each of these sites is essential, I use a password manager to manage those passwords. A password manager is a software application that helps store and organise my passwords. Usually these passwords are stored encrypted, which requires the user to create a master password — a single, ideally very strong password that grants you access to your entire password database.
There are a number of password managers on the market, some of which are free. However, I pay for an annual subscription to LastPass. It is inexpensive and I find the program useful. Other password managers include (but aren’t limited to) Dashlane, Keeper, LogMeOnce and Sticky Password.
With a password manager, I only need to remember one password. That password logs me into my password manager and my password manager than does the rest. LastPass, for example, automatically fills login fields for me when I load a login screen. It will generate passwords using numerous criteria if I prefer, and it will also store important documents such as documents with keys to software I use. There is so much more a password manager can do too.
Password managers are great if you are sick and tired of having to remember the passwords for your many online accounts, but perhaps even better is that they can save you losing big money, which is what could happen if a hacker successfully cracks your password and gets access to your financial accounts, email and social media.