We get it. With between 50 and 500 user accounts, the idea that we should use a new password for every site, never write them down, never store them in our browser, and then somehow always remember them can sound impossible. Luckily, there are some super simple patterns and tools that can keep you from worrying about this ever again.
We’ll dig into all of the reasons why these steps are so important afterward, but first, let’s jump into the meat and potatoes of what to do.
Tools that hackers use to crack passwords can get through a short password easily, but the longer your password is, the more challenging your password is to crack.
LongWalks4Ever’:D or h897j$-mdjygt65
But if you use the second one, it’s nearly impossible for a human to remember, whereas the first one can easily be remembered, meaning you don’t have to write it down or store it in a file.
Be sure to use a mix of capital and lowercase letters, at least one special character, and a number. One can be used for sites that you’re not sure if they're trustworthy or are managing your security properly, or in situations where you know you’ll be sharing that password with family or coworkers. The second one is yours alone and should never be shared. Use it for your accounts that require higher security, such as your bank, credit cards, and any accounts where you’ve granted them the ability to store your credit card information. For example:
Netflix.com - Imade4Tacos@Home
Chase.com - Sunglasses4myFace%)
If you use a pattern, it makes it easy to modify your password for every website. Here’s how your password might change across these three accounts:
https://mail.google.com - leLongWalks4Ever:D
http://chase.com/ - seLongWalks4Ever:D
https://godaddy.com - dyLongWalks4Ever:D
Here, we’ve taken the last two letters of the web address and added them to the beginning of your password. There’s plenty of patterns you can choose to use. Maybe you take the first letter, or first three letters, and put it at the end of your password instead. Create your own pattern here that makes the most sense to you, and then stick to it every time.
Password managers are cloud-based vaults that store all of your passwords and can sync them across all of your devices. Further, they allow you to share your passwords with others, allowing you to share your login information with family or coworkers without ever getting access to the password. This is critical for business owners who share passwords with employees, especially when a staff member moves on and the employer needs to revoke their access to company accounts. They’re also great for family accounts, as well as a very kind thing to include in your will, aiding your loved ones in wrapping up your digital life someday.
While we've already alluded to this above, it’s a big one, especially if you run a business or store them on a work computer. When using browsers such as Chrome, Edge/IE, or Firefox, anyone with physical access to your computer can easily view all of them in about three clicks, and even download all of them into a file. Further, your passwords are stored on your computer instead of in the cloud. Meaning if there’s a problem with your computer or your browser all of your passwords can be lost. These security issues can be compounded if you’ve got multiple devices that you’re doing this across.
Using a password manager across your devices can be life-changing. The one exception is if all of your devices are Apple products. Safari uses Apple’s password manager iCloud Keychain, which they’ve built to sync across all of your devices. But if you’re not completely invested in Apple's ecosystem, we recommend using a password manager for all of your other devices.
Writing down your passwords is just as bad as storing them in your browser, as anyone with physical access to your work area can access them. Storing them on a file on your computer can also be problematic as hackers will often try to steal the files on your computer in hopes that you’ve done this. Storing them in your email is also problematic for two reasons, first is that it’s another common target for hackers, and second is that you actually give more companies and people than you realize the ability to read your email.
Here at FruitStand, we love technology, but we also know it can be super stressful, especially when it’s not working as expected. Maybe we can help? Feel free to tell us a few of your tech woes, especially those you think might make a great blog article, and we’ll do our best to bring you some peace and clarity.