Security breaches are in the news all the time. “LinkedIn’s Password Breach Draws FBI’s Attention“, “Twitter spam campaign linked to Gawker breach” or even “Why you should probably change your Facebook password“. There’s no escaping the fact that as we have more and more of our information online, there are greater risks of our data having unwanted access.
However, most often the problem lies with using far too obvious passwords -and using the same password for every account. Lets be honest, if some hi-tech nerd wants to crack a system, they probably will. So at least lets make it much more difficult for them.
For example, in the recent Linkedin breach where 6.5million passwords were stolen and posted on a website, there were many common words that people used to protect there personal data. One of the most common passwords being the word ‘link’. A more detailed breakdown is given by the LaTimes.
So what can we do about this as we’re not all great at remembering tens of different passwords. 1Password is a great solution to this problem. There are other tools out there but 1Password seems to get all the plaudits. In their own words,
1Password is a password manager that goes beyond simple password storage by integrating directly with your web browser to automatically log you into websites, enter credit card information, fill registration forms, and easily generate strong passwords.
Essentially it stores all your account details such as Facebook, iTunes, LinkedIn, Twitter account details along with your credit card, private notes, software licences if you so wish, all in an encrypted format behind one password. This is a very important password that you need to remember. At least its just one password rather than several for your grey matter to cope with.
You can then go through and update your individual online accounts with a more secure password generated by 1Password so when you go back to the website you can login with a single click. It does make it more difficult to access your accounts from other computers though -at least the first time. If you synchronise your details with Dropbox you can get access to 1PasswordAnyWhere which allows you -as the name suggests, to access your passwords from anywhere. The problem with that is you still need to access your Dropbox password to get to the config file. If you have a smartphone or tablet you can get it from there but its time-consuming if you just want to quickly check your Facebook account on someone else’s computer.
Having said all that, it is certainly more secure, so perhaps its a small price to pay and its less of an issue if you have your phone with you. One final thing, I’m about to get a new laptop and this is going to make it much easier to setup all my accounts on the new machine. No more using the same password or desperately trying to remember one.