If you have a habit of using the same passwords, weak passwords, or recycling old passwords you could be setting yourself up to be compromised online. You need a Password Manager like 1Password.
With the explosion of mobile and desktop apps comes the management of all of the login credentials that we all use to get into our apps and use them, hence the need for a Password Manager. While it’s somewhat of a nice idea to have one company manage all of our apps and online access in the way 1Password does with their Password Manager app, consumers like you and I have to play our part in managing our online security. The unfortunate thing for consumers like yourself is that ultimately, you’re in charge of managing all of your online and mobile apps as well as passwords.
So if you neglect to change your passwords, or your passwords are compromised—thus compromising your online accounts—the headache of remediating the fallout from compromised accounts falls in your lap.
So what is the problem exactly?
Well, when you subscribe to a lot of different online or mobile services, you’re required to generate unique passwords. This is actually a good thing when you think about, and after all, your banking information for example is likely linked to many of those accounts where you make payments for bills or subscription services. Your purchase history, online browsing habits, and a ton of your private information that i’m certain you want protected can leave clues that hackers can use to gain access.
So if you’re the kind of person who constantly resets passwords and usernames, or worse, recycles the same password you’ve been using for the past seven years it’s time for a serious upgrade. You need a password management tool like 1Password.
I spent time setting up my Password manager for all of the mobile apps and websites that I login to on a regular basis. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now but I’m just getting around to doing it because of my busy schedule and wow, I’m glad I did! This app is one of the most amazing and useful apps I have on my phone and on my desktop.
I have three computers in addition to my mobile phone and I am able to sync all of my confidential information between all of my devices, it’s seamless, easy to setup and use, and relieves me of the strain of writing down or remembering complex passwords. And even if I have 100 online accounts I can easily access this app and have the password in seconds.
I work in the tech industry so I’m always researching Cyber Security related topics, and Cyber has been a very hot button topic in the news as of late. If you recall the Equifax breach of over 143 million consumer records is proof why more and more people need to be more vigilant and aware of their Cyber surroundings and implement things like the use of a Password Manager app and the use of strong passwords.
Cyber Security, or the lack thereof, typically falls to human error. In some studies most people aren’t doing the basic things necessary to ensure that their accounts are safe. They are using weak passwords and they are storing these passwords in places that they shouldn’t be storing them, which makes it easy for someone to get to it.
Last week I sat in a seminar with the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for the organization where I consult and a lot of useful information came out of that seminar on the topic of Cyber Security. One of the examples that was given and repeated over, and over, and over again was the very loose and bad use of passwords by the majority of people.
If you’re like me, I use apps for EVERYTHING, from banking to my blog, to social media. The likelihood of having your identity stolen, or your accounts hacked and compromised is higher than most people realize. In some instances people have had money taken directly from their bank accounts because of the use of bad passwords, and in some instance the lack of due diligence in protecting those passwords.
So I wanted to share this one important piece of information with all of you today.
The key piece of information that the CISO mentioned in protecting yourself online was the use of a password manager.
Why Is It Necessary To Change My Passwords Often And Why 1Password
This is going to give you a headache but bare with me….
With the iPhone—which is what I have—most, if not all apps that I use will allow me to authenticate with my fingerprint. So for mobile that works, but there are some instances where I have to manually enter a password. Very rare, but it does happen. In this case I would need to have that password somewhere when it’s needed—most likely saved somewhere where it’s easy for me to copy and paste it into the password field where I am attempting to log-in.
On my desktop I’m using my password manager app constantly. So for example let’s say you have Google, Yahoo, Ebay, and Amazon.com and you access these accounts at least twice a week. You would need a very strong and complicated password and the passwords for each of these accounts would all need to be different from each other.
The attributes that make strong passwords strong—length, uniqueness, variety of characters—make them difficult to remember, so most people will reuse easy-to-remember passwords everywhere they go online. This is not good.
Using the same passwords for different sites is dangerous.
If just one site suffers a breach, an attacker could access your entire digital life—email, icloud storage, your bank accounts, social media, online journal, online shopping portals, and so on. And if your recycled password is weak, the problem is that much worse because someone could guess your password.
How could they do this you might ask? Well, seasoned hackers know that there are databases that house just about every password combination known to man. They can easily obtain this information and attempt to guess your password using information that already exists on the internet, voila!
Where a password manager comes in is that, it basically stores all of your passwords behind an encrypted “vault” that only YOU have the master key and password for. The purpose of this is two-fold:
1) It’s not necessary for you to remember or write down all of your passwords where they can be stolen or compromised by an ex or old boo, or a hacker that you pissed off…
2) It automatically creates the password for you using the max number of numbers, letters and special characters allowable to help lessen the likelihood of someone breaking into your accounts. No more using your daughter’s name for your password, which is a definite NO NO!
So I tested this myself, and for this I decided to use an app called 1Password and it works like this:
1) You sign-up for an account with 1Password by going to their site and paying the subscription fee. You go through the setup process which consists of registering your email address, your master password, your master key, and your iPassword login ID.
2) Once your 1Password account is created you have to configure it. I am using a Macbook Pro so there are some added steps here.
3) You then have to download the 1Password App onto your computer, in this case I downloaded it onto my Macbook pro from inside my 1Password account. The app is what is used to automatically log you into all of your online accounts with the push of one button, which I didn’t mention. This is an added feature that’s very useful, and I’m not sure where the directions are for this but they don’t tell you any of this when you register. I figured all of this out on my own.
4) Then you will need to download the 1Password Google Chrome extension. The extension sits on the browser so whenever you go to a site you just click on the extension and it will auto-populate your login credentials.
The setup here isn’t straight-forward and I can see why the average person wouldn’t even want to be bothered with this. BUT, I can’t begin to tell you how serious the threat is for individuals that want to steal your identity and hack into your accounts.
I would HIGHLY suggest you take the time to set this up, especially if you’re the kind of person that sets (password123) as your password for all of your accounts.
Additionally, I would also suggest two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication is a second line of defense that provides another layer of protection from compromise. In the event that someone does compromise your account and cracks your password, two-factor authentication will require another form of “authentication”.
For myself, I use an authentication app on my phone that provides a second set of credentials to allow me to access my online accounts. So for access to my account I need the username, the password, and my phone so I can access my authenticator app. Without those three credentials I can’t access my account and for someone attempting to hack your account they would need your mobile phone physically in their possession along with your username and password credentials all at the same time.
While nothing is 100% secure the goal here is to perform preventative actions to protect yourself.
With so many apps and online accounts that we depend on for our every day lives it is imperative that you use a password manager. Download it today.
Read my previous blog post below.