Protecting Your Passwords - How to Keep Them Safe

by Lynn Fuhler, Flying Compass

How many times each day, do you enter your User ID and password to gain access to something? They are likely saved in a device or you may manually enter the info without thinking. But … how safe is your information? When was the last time your passwords were updated? Do you have a handle on the number of accounts that require logins?

The use of passwords has evolved over time. Initially, the same, simple password was entered everywhere. Trying to stay ahead of the hackers, upper-lowercase letters began being incorporated. Decipherable words, such as a pet’s or a sports team’s name, exchanged some letters for numbers. Later, special characters were added.

With each step, the bad guys, using sophisticated software, would break through interrupting everyday life. Some individuals took a phased-in approach and began employing a more secure password for online banking access with another for work and yet another for personal needs. At some point, Apple enabled TouchID where fingerprints allowed access to iPhones and iPads. Two-factor login is now the standard for online finances, requiring a text or an email be sent with a special code. Website browsers can now store a suggested secure16-digit password, too.

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More than 25 years ago, in its earliest form, VPNs (virtual private networks) began being used by businesses. Now password manager vendors, using VPNs, are moving into the consumer market. Considering foreign hackers can infiltrate U.S. government agencies, maybe it’s time to rethink how you protect your spiderweb of online accounts, credit cards tied to those accounts and the numerous passwords.

VPNs are an Internet within an Internet, like a tunnel. Password manager services allow you to store all of your passwords in a remote location accessed via this VPN tunnel. While this may still make some nervous, a double-blind password can offer further protection.

This is how it works. Within your master password manager, you’ll set up different sub-master User IDs and passwords for every website account. The double-blind occurs when you reset your password on these websites. Here, you can add an additional series of letters, numbers or characters that aren’t contained within your master password manager. This 5-minute video shows you how.

Yes, password managers cost money but not as much as you might think, considering some include monitoring and alerts. While many insurance policies include identity theft, that peace of mind will still require you to spend considerable time and effort when your personal security is breached. Spend the time now or spend time later.

Click here to see if your passwords are on the worst passwords list for 20