How do you manage your passwords?
Electronic password managers were created with the goal to help all of us have a more structured approach to storing and retrieving our passwords. But not everyone uses electronic password managers because they don’t know about them, don’t trust them, or because they require extra steps when it is time to authenticate with a service. Many people still rely on sticky notes and paper notebooks.
I’m convinced passwords are one the largest nuisances in life for most people. It’s easy to see why. Different sites have different password rules and modern password complexity rules require us to use with specials characters, numbers, and capital letters. We can’t reuse password, they have to be a minimum length, and they can’t contain parts of our name or email. I’m dizzy already.
There are two problems with this system:
- The rules are not our natural way of processing language and thinking. Result? Passwords are not easy to create and not easy to remember.
- To keep up with passwords effectively we all need a system. Sticky notes by the keyboard are not accepted.
Password managers; the good and the bad.
One system to use for credentials management is an electronic password manager tool. There are numerous tools available on the market. Some of them are locally installed on a computer while others are cloud based.
- Easily searchable
- Accessible from wherever you are
- Encrypted text
- Password auto-creation to match site complexity rules.
- Accessible only those with whom you share or that have your credentials.
- One key to rule them all
- Cloud based services are targets for attack and exposed to more thieves on the internet
- The security of electronic sites and applications are frequently exposed for new weaknesses
Don’t lose site of what is at stake.
Regardless of how you feel about electronic password tools compared to a paper based system, don’t lose site of the importance of having a secure system. It’s your data and your life. Identity theft is both harmful and disruptive. Having a password management system can be a time saver too. When you need access to your data you don’t want to spend time looking through drawers and notebooks.
It appears password complexity rules may be changing in the near future as research is showing password length is better than complicated rule sets. So making passwords longer without special characters is a win for both usability and security. In the meantime, make sure you create a safe system.
Onward and upward!