Protect your passwords from data breaches and hackers. Pixabay

You should never use your birthday, or your mother's maiden name, or the name of your hometown as a password. However, the worst thing you can do with your passwords is to reuse the same one across different sites. Here are some alarming numbers regarding common password practices according to a recent survey by Infosecurity Magazine:

  • 45% did not consider password reuse to be serious
  • 52% share their streaming site passwords
  • 31% use the same password for streaming sites as they do for other ‘more sensitive’ accounts, such as online banking
  • 21% don’t know whether those with who they share their passwords also share with other people

If even one of those accounts gets compromised by a data breach, it doesn’t matter how strong your password is --hackers can easily use it to get into your other accounts.

Enter: Password Managers

Password managers let you store your passwords in one safe location. Pixabay

A password manager is a piece of software designed to store and manage online credentials such as passwords. It can also generate passwords. Usually, created passwords are stored in an encrypted database and locked behind a master password that only the user should know.

Once all your account usernames and passwords have been entered into "the vault," your master password is the only one you have to remember. Entering your master password unlocks your password vault, and from your vault, you can then retrieve all your stored passwords in one convenient and safe place.

The benefits of a password manager

Of course, the number one benefit of using a password manager is that you don’t have to memorize a ton of passwords. You only need to remember one: your master password. Plus, if you opt for a cloud-based password manager, you can access your password vault anywhere, from any device.

No more fumbling through note files or, for those who like the tactile feel of pen and paper, a written list (both options, of which, are much less secure than using a password manager.) Here are a few more reasons why you should consider buying a plan now.

  • Automatically generate highly secure passwords
    Password managers will typically ask you if you’d like to use an auto-generated password whenever you create a new account with a website or application. These random passwords are long, alphanumeric, and essentially impossible to guess.
  • They can alert you whether you're on a phishing site
    Here’s a crash course on phishing scams. Spam emails are faked to look like they’re coming from a legitimate sender, like a friend, family member, coworker, or an organization you're associated with. Links contained within the email redirect to similarly spoofed websites designed to collect sensitive login credentials.
  • Password managers sync across different Operating Systems
    If you’re a Windows user at work and a Mac user at home, jump on your Android Monday through Friday and turn to iOS on the weekends, you’ll be able to quickly access your passwords regardless of which platform you’re on. Ditto for all the most popular web browsers; i.e., Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, and Safari.
  • They help protect your identity from attacks
    In a roundabout way, passwords managers help protect against identity theft, and here’s why. By using a unique password for every site, you’re essentially segmenting your data across each website and application you use. If a criminal hacks one of your accounts, they won’t necessarily be able to get into any of the others. It’s not foolproof, but it’s an additional layer of security that you’ll certainly appreciate in the aftermath of a data breach.

LastPass: The last password manager you'll need

LastPass remembers all your passwords across every device for free! LastPass

LastPass is a secure password manager that stores all of your usernames and passwords in one safe place called a Vault. After you save a password to your Vault, LastPass always remembers it for you. When you need to log in to a website, LastPass enters your username and password for you! LastPass also has the capabilities to cater to businesses and enterprises. Contact their sales team to get started.

LastPass does many other things, including:

  • Creating new passwords for you
  • Showing how strong your passwords are
  • Storing information such as PIN codes and membership IDs
  • Sharing passwords with others
  • Filling out addresses and credit card forms
  • As a password manager, LastPass will help you in your day-to-day work while improving the overall security of your online life.
  • Key benefits of using LastPass include:
  • Convenience – No more forgotten or mistyped passwords
  • Time saved – Instantly log in to websites
  • Stronger security – Long passwords that you don't have to remember

You can create an account, then download and install LastPass to start saving your Sites, Secure Notes, and Form Fills right away.