Manually keeping track of different passwords for all your different online accounts is extremely difficult, so the default behavior is to use the same password for everything. This is a security nightmare. With so many risks existing online these days, it is imperative that you have different and unique passwords for each website/account.
Hackers Can Access Internet Browser Databases
Intended to make your online life more convenient, a lot of times your browser or the account website itself will offer to “remember your password for next time.” Is this a safe solution to secure easy access to these sites? Unfortunately, it’s not. When you allow a browser to save your passwords, it stores that information on a database that can be accessed by hackers. There are even some browsers with utilities that will display the database contents, and these utilities are readily vulnerable to some hackers.
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How Can You Protect Your Passwords?
The best way to protect yourself and to manage your passwords is to use a password manager such as LastPass or Dashlane. Some of the offerings are free, the most useful features require a subscription, but the cost is minimal. These services allow you to have one password (which should be a strong passphrase, such as “I_l0ve_h0rses”) that accesses the service and from there you have unique, random passwords for each site. These password managers will also remember logins and even auto-fill with a click of a button from your computer, tablet, or phone. This not only keeps you secure but simplifies your online access.
We use a password manager and recommend to all our clients to do the same. The minimal cost is a small price to pay for securing your personal information and ensuring your credit is safe.