Password Management

It is very important not to use the same passwords for multiple accounts, especially your Financial and Email accounts. For most people, your primary email account is a door into your entire life, making your primary email account very attractive to hackers.

Critical steps to take:

  • Use a Password Manager1Password, Dashlane, LastPassKeePass
    • This Password Manager Cartoon helps to explain why using a Password Manager is so important and useful
    • You can use the Password Manager to create complicated passwords that you do not have to remember
    • You can use Keychain to generate memorable yet complicated passwords
      • You will want to know your primary email and financial account passwords
      • It is NOT critical to memorize the passwords for all your internet accounts, let the Password Manager do that for you
        • Create passwords with at least eight characters
        • Use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols
        • Don't share passwords
        • Don't use passwords that are easy to guess
        • Don't use private information in your password
        • Don't use a word in the dictionary as a password
    • Change your passwords regularly
      • Primary Email and Financial accounts: Every 3 months
      • Social Media and others: Every 6 months
      • Your Password Manager can help track the age of your passwords
  • Setup two-factor authentication on your primary financial and email accounts
    • When you turn on two-factor authentication you have to go through a second step when logging in. This could mean:
      • Having a code sent by text message
      • Having a code sent by email (other than the one you are trying to log in to)
      • Generating a code using Google Authenticator App
      • To turn on two factor authentication for your Gmail check out this guide
  • When a browser asks if you want to store your password, say NO.
    • It is relatively easy for a hacker to crack a password stored in a browser
    • Let the Password Manager input your password for you, not the browser. You can enable the Password Manager as a browser plugin.

Helpful and Related Resources:

Password Tips and Best Practices

Technology Tips for Your Break

Protecting Your Digital Life


Tags: password two-factor authentication password manager tips
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