Jan. 29, 2019
You probably have dozens of online accounts and that makes it a real challenge to create strong passwords – passwords you can remember – for all of them.
That's why so many people use a few simple passwords over and over again. That's not a good idea.
Weak passwords – like 12345, password, 123abc, admin, or iloveyou – are easy to crack. And if that password grants access to multiple accounts, it puts all of them at risk, if just one of them is compromised.
"If you use the same password on multiple accounts and one account is hacked, it allows that hacker to then go in and try all of your other accounts, such as your bank, your phone, your Instagram account, whatever it is, they'll be able to get into it," said Ben Queen, president of SplashData, a digital security firm.
The solution: Use a password manager. It lets you create complex passwords and store them securely for easy access on all your devices. The passwords loaded onto the password manager are encrypted and you are the only one with the key to unlock it. This way, there's just one password to remember – so you need to make it super-strong.
Top-rated password managers cost between $15 and $60 a year. But there are plenty of reliable free versions available, including SplashID, LastPass, Dashlane, RoboForm, KeePass Password Safe and Sticky Password.