Tuesday Tip: It’s Time You Got On The Password Manager Train

Multi-colored chart of number of characters, upper case, lower case, and symbols.If you aren’t using a password manager, it’s time you bought your ticket and boarded the train! Research suggests upwards of 80% of account breaches today are due to weak passwords.

If you are using the same password for more than one account and don’t adhere to any levels of complexity and length, the following table is for you. The table represents how long it takes to crack a password, using readily available tools on the Internet.


What is a password manager and what does it do for you?

A password manager is a software application that acts as a secure vault, to store and manage all the login information and passwords associated with your online accounts. Think:

  • Banking and investment accounts
  • Email accounts
  • Social media accounts
  • Online utilities (gas, power, water bills)
  • Credit card accounts
  • Anything you have an online log in for

The vault holds your encrypted passwords and to unlock it, you use a Master Password. Think of the Master Password as the one and only key to get inside your vault. For your Master Password, use a long and obscure passphrase that is unique to you, is easy to remember, and meets the character requirement.

Once your vault is set up, you can begin the process of bringing over all of your accounts and changing each password to something unique and complex. Resetting all the passwords for your accounts is a tedious task, but most password managers can generate a random password for you using a predefined number of characters and character types. Here’s an example of a generated, random password: xf37j2A3@g^BMSXychgzX6A1X*GEJs. The odds of someone cracking one of these random passwords is close to zero.

Some of the top-rated Password Managers currently are: Bitwarden, 1Password, and Dashlane. Research and decide which is best for you.  The paid subscription models contain additional features that are worth the investment.

Since the Master password is the only way into the vault, it is just as important to set up MFA (multi-factor authentication) for the password manager as well. Ideally you want to use an authenticator app such as Google’s or Microsoft’s.

Knowing every account you own has a unique and complex password and you only have to remember your master password is liberating. In my next Tuesday Tip, I’ll share another technique to make your vault and accounts even safer. Stay tuned!

Richard Stokes Headshot

Richard Stokes: As the Director of Sales for Network 1, Richard identifies “future” clients that can benefit from the support of an experienced, outsourced IT team. He helps clients and prospects find technology solutions they need to achieve better productivity and efficiency so they can focus on making money and growing their businesses.

Network 1 designs, builds and supports the IT you need to run your business more securely, productively and successfully. Whether you want to outsource all of your IT needs to a reliable, responsive, service-oriented company, or need to supplement the work of your internal IT staff, we will carefully evaluate where you are now, discuss where you want to go and implement and support a plan to get you there with as little interruption as possible.

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