Passwords are the key to accessing a myriad of your accounts, from Amazon to your bank to any company with which you do business online. Password security is obviously critically important, however, unfortunately, regardless of how protective you are as to the privacy and security of your passwords, you are only as safe as the places with the weakest security that have your passwords. Recently researchers found that 721.5 million passwords were compromised online in 2022 with most of these being stolen in data breaches of companies and then sold in batches to criminals on the Dark Web, that part of the Internet where criminals buy and sell goods and services.
Your passwords will be compromised. It is only a matter of when and how many.
So what can you do?
First and foremost you should have a strong, unique password for each of your accounts so that even if your password is compromised at one account, it will not make all of your other accounts vulnerable. One way to do this is to use a password manager. If you are interested in using a password manager, here is a link to an article from PC magazine that compares many of the legitimate password managers available to you. https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-password-managers
If you do decide to use a password manager, you should remember not to use your password manager master password for any of your other accounts. You also should use dual factor authentication so that even if someone were to gain access to your password manager master password, your password manager account could not be accessed.
In 2018 researchers at Aalto University and the University of Helsinki discovered security flaws affecting the technology used by all of the password managers. The researchers disclosed their findings to the affected companies which took steps to remedy the problem, but the bottom line is that while using a password manager is helpful, it will always be a target of hackers and you may be more comfortable using unique, complex passwords for each account that you can readily remember without using a password manager. This is not as difficult as it sounds as you will read below.
If you would like to use the helping hand you find at the end of your own arm and generate unique, complex passwords for each of your accounts that are easy to remember, here is a strategy that is very effective. You can start with a strong base password constructed from a phrase, such as IDon’tLikePasswords that has capital letters, small letters and a symbol, add a few symbols at the end so it may read IDon’tLikePasswords!!! and then adapt it with a few letters for each particular account you have so that you will have a secure and easy to remember password for each of your online accounts. Thus, your Amazon password could be IDon’tLikePasswords!!!AMA.
Finally ,since it is inevitable that some of your passwords will be compromised, you should use dual factor authentication on all of your accounts so that even if someone manages to get your password, they will not be able to access your account.
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