It’s May 5, the first Thursday in May, which means it’s World Password Day. The day was created by security researcher Mark Burnett to raise awareness of the importance of having secure passwords.
Well, how secure are your passwords?
There are many tips and tricks for creating and maintaining secure passwords. I’m pretty comfortable with the technology and security of my accounts, but I find most of these tips too complicated to follow.
Better to keep things simple.
And I’m going to simplify things for you.
We are in the 21st century and people don’t need to create and remember their passwords.
My advice is simple: use a password manager.
What is a password manager? A password manager is an application, usually linked to an online service, that stores your passwords securely. It is also used to securely distribute these passwords to all your devices, whether you are on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Good password managers not only store your passwords and transfer them securely to your browser or applications as needed, but they can also help you generate strong passwords and even search the Internet l one of your passwords that could be leaked on the Internet.
Some password managers also allow you to secure your passwords with high security features such as hardware authentication, making it nearly impossible for hackers to access your data and notifying you if you try to use duplicate passwords.
So what are the best password managers?
My colleague from ZDNet, Ed Bott, has a list of the best password managers, and it’s a good list. Of the services out there, Bitwarden, 1Password, and LastPass are my top picks. They are comprehensive, offer strong security, and encompass a wide range of platforms and operating systems.
If you’re looking for a free solution, Bitwarden offers a free option, and even the paid option ($10 per year for a single user, $40 per year for a family of up to six users) is excellent.
But maybe you already have a password manager and don’t know it. For example, if you use a Mac, iPhone, or iPad, you can use Apple’s Keychain password manager. The only downside here is that you have to be on an Apple device to access your passwords, but it’s a superb solution for those in the Apple ecosystem.
If you use Google Chrome, a password manager is integrated into it. The downside here is that it’s pretty basic and you can only access your passwords from the browser.
These are two excellent options. But they have their limits.
So my advice for World Password Day is that you make sure you use a password manager, not only to store your passwords, but also to generate secure passwords when needed.
And secure your password manager with a good one-time password.
Also, an extra tip: if your password manager tells you that you’re using duplicate passwords on different websites, or that one of your passwords was leaked in a data breach company, so watch out for this and take whatever action your password manager recommends, because using duplicate passwords or passwords that have leaked out is a surefire way to compromise your online accounts.