Since the dawn of civilization, people communicated in plethora of ways to exchange information, spread news, send out warning, etc… Passwords as we might know, are deeply rooted into languages and social interactions. Secret phrases were used to send signals of an approaching enemy or to gain access to underworld societies that operated from the shadows. Nowadays, we no longer require passwords in such secretive social events rather we use passwords to access our email, banks and almost everything that contains personal information. At the dawn of the internet, passwords were mere strings of letters people would jumble up for sake of safety regulations such as ‘ilovemydog’ or ‘12345’. But as privacy and safety of online services grew victim of hackers, companies stepped up their security measures. Now asking users to use more complex passwords that mix numbers and letters together. Many dislike having complex passwords as they tend to forget them or are just too much to type everyday. Nevertheless, I will explain the importance of complex passwords, how to properly create a complex password and how you can memorize your password without using your head!
Password complexity is crucial to prevent hackers from decoding your passwords and gaining access to your systems! Nowadays most services online request your password to be of at least 8 characters long, contains 1 uppercase letter, 1 number and 1 special character. This way, you are sure to never have your password decoded in any possible way, unless you do keep it written on a piece of paper that is always on your desk…
Check this infographic from Intel below that explains password complexity:
Crazy right?! So the more complex and longer password you have the safer you are! If you are curious how strong your password is just visit this website and try it out yourself.
Remember, choose a password to be complex and safe not easy to memorize! And whatever you do, DO NOT WRITE IT DOWN ON PAPER! This is just another way of putting a sign at your front door that says “Come in it’s open!” to robbers. You might argue that memorizing is better and no one will know but let me tell you there are are ways to save your passwords. Below I will describe various methods and tools at your disposal for password safety.
How To Store Passwords:
I will not repeat how bad it is to write down passwords instead I will tell you how to use special software that can help you store and manage all your passwords from multiple devices at once. Unlike Windows, MacOS and Ubuntu have default password saving programs that work out of the box. For example, you created a new password for your Gmail, now if you are using Google Chrome it will automatically suggest to save your password and username and of course you select yes to save. This creates a saved copy in Google’s password manager and your password vault (Keychain on MacOS, and Keyring on Ubuntu).
The above applications store your usernames and password from web browsers. This way you can always keep them safe and secure and always autocomplete when logging into Gmail or your bank account! It’s a win-win situation, have complex passwords that are impossible to crack and no need to memorize or write them down. Now assuming you forgot your password and would like to look it up, all you have to do is to navigate to one of those programs login in with your system credentials and voila!
Unfortunately, there is no such versatile program on Windows that can help you manage your passwords from all sorts of programs and websites. The simplest method could be to use Google Chrome Password Manager instead. All you need is a Google Account and it will work just as Keychain or Keyring but only for online services and websites.
Beyond Basic Functionality:
Now what we spoke above is out of the box programs that can help you save your passwords and store them out of reach of hackers. But you can explore third party software such as LastPass. It is free and most trusted by millions. You can setup LastPass on all of your devices and sync your password storage. It also helps you generate complex passwords with just one click! As a Windows user, I use LastPass since Microsoft’s operating system lacks an out of the box password vault.
Remember to create complex passwords and store them safely using password vaults. This way you can secure yourself from identity theft and all other types of hacker attacks. Stay safe. For more information on password protection and how websites operate check this amazing Wikipedia link.