These days we all have many on-line accounts and passwords to remember. It is tempting to use and re-use a few tired old favourite passwords over and over again.
The problem with this approach is two-fold. The longer we use a password the higher the chance of it being discovered, either because it’s just a matter of time before the bad guys find out the name of your first pet, from your posts on Facebook., or simply look up your maiden name from public records.
The second problem is that if you use the same password for several accounts, and you need to change it because it has been discovered, then you need to go through all your accounts with that password and update them.
It’s a pain. There should be a better way, and there is.
We recommend using a ‘password manager’ where you can safely store all your passwords, so that you don’t have to remember them all.
Our current favourite tool is call “Password Gorilla”, and is available free for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Your collection of passwords is encrypted, so that if the password file gets stolen or accidentally passed on, no one can use it without the master password.
There are many features that we like, including:
- The ability to generate hard to guess passwords for each account.
- The ability to copy and paste the password from the Password Gorilla into the password field of your browser.
- After a time-out, the password database is automatically closed, so that you don’t expose your passwords if you walk away from your computer without closing the database.
- Multi platform capability, so that a family could share the database on different types of computer.
Make sure that you keep a known working copy of the password database somewhere safe, and that you can get access to the Password Gorilla software too.
Hopefully if you use a tool such as this (there are many others) your important accounts will be much safer.