There have been many issues with online security lately. The Sony PlayStation network was hacked causing members’ passwords and credit card information to become available online. Another group of hackers recently infiltrated one of the biggest marketing firms in the world and released millions of emails to spam bots (you may have noticed an increase in spam because of it). Gawker (a news company) was also hacked and released thousands of people’s passwords to the internet. I actually had to change a few of my account passwords because of the Gawker hackers… someone even stole my Twitter account. Yikes! Here a few best practices that all of the MacWorks consultants use:
- Never use the same password for everything… no really, don’t do it!
- When choosing passwords, include capital and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation.
- A good example: M@cW0rk5! — You’ll notice that says “MacWorks!” but fits all of our recommendations.
- Consider using an application like 1Password for your password management.
- Never store all of your passwords in a single document; it’s insecure and very dangerous to your security.
- Never leave your User Account password blank on your computer.
If you have any questions about your password security, please give us a call. We’d be glad to help. If you’d like to know more information about 1Password, please continue reading this article.
1Password is an application for Mac, Windows, iOS and Android that stores all of your passwords in a very secure, encrypted database on your device. You create a Master Password to access the rest. The Master Password should be ridiculously complicated, follow our recommendations and be something that no one would ever be able to guess. Then you have “1Password” to access all of your other passwords securely. Your Master Password never touches the internet and the database is heavily encrypted on your device.
After creating your Master Password, you can have 1Password auto-generate passwords for all of your online accounts. If you pair that feature with their browser plugins (available for all major browsers) you’ll never have to know the auto-generated passwords because it will sign in for you after you enter your Master Password. Ultimately, you only have to remember one password, but every online password would be unique and secure. If another online company is hacked, no problem… your password was unique to that site and can be reset easily. That’s online security at its finest.
There are definitely other solutions out there, but 1Password is currently MacWorks’ top recommendation. If you have suggestions for other password management applications out there, we’d love to hear about them in the comments.