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Tip of the Week: How to Take Advantage of a Password Manager

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Have you ever been prompted to change your password, then forgotten what the new one was twenty seconds later? Changing passwords consistently is a good practice, but let’s face it; unless you have them put away somewhere, you are probably going to forget about them at least once (unless you use a post-it note on your monitor, which is never a good idea). Additionally, if passwords are short and easily guessable, you risk being targeted by a phishing attack or other hacking attack.

For those of you who have never heard of a password manager, they are applications which hold all of your passwords in one secure location. When you make your way to a login page for a website, the password manager will automatically enter in your password and username for the site, so long as it has that information readily available in the application. They can streamline your ability to browse the web and help you tend to day-to-day business on all of your favorite websites, all without having to remember multiple passwords.

Let’s use one of the more popular password managers as an example: LastPass. The interface is simple enough. When you add an account’s information to LastPass, you are prompted to enter the URL of the site which has the login form. LastPass will only offer the login credentials to the selected domain, and won’t even offer at all if the offered domain is a fake. A lot of the time, phishing attacks can come from domains that look no different from the real website you are trying to access, so this helps protect your company against phishing attacks from phony domains which may appear to be the real deal. After you have entered the credentials, you have the ability to select options such as whether or not to autofill the login boxes, and whether or not to automatically sign you into the website.

Other Password Tips
In order to optimize the efficiency of password managers, you can take advantage of online password generators to create complex strings of characters which are infinitely more secure than your typical six to eight-character password. This approach to password management also means that you are entirely reliant on your password manager to log in to anything, so make sure that your password isn’t something simple, like… “password.” You should also never share your password with anyone.

It should also be noted that, according to ZDNet, some mobile devices have trouble operating password managers. This means you have to access the software itself if you want to get to your passwords, but compared to the incredible efficiency and protection a password manager offers you under normal circumstances, it’s a small price to pay. You can streamline the way you browse the web by taking advantage of a password manager.

While there are many consumer options for password managers, businesses should take advantage of corporate or enterprise solutions that protect all of their users and ensure that employees aren’t leaving the job with any corporate login credentials.

For more security tips on how to keep your network and personal credentials safe from hacking threats, give Tektonic a call at (416) 256-9928.

Date: April 3rd, 2015, Author: Jorge Rojas

Toronto IT Support  /  Tektonic Blog  /  How To  /  Tip of the Week: How to Take Advantage of a Password Manager