It occurred to me some time ago, after clicking my umpteenth “Forgot Password” link, that there had to be a better way to manage my online identities. Like most people, my day-to-day work increasingly involves logging into several websites and services to access the various tools I need. When you sprinkle in the services that I use only sparingly, that makes for a lot of passwords.
Now, I’m an IT guy. I know the rules about passwords. I know that I’m supposed to use an Uppercase, lowercase, Number, and Special Character in my passwords, but I was bogged down with too many credentials and I was starting to get lazy. I was starting to fall into the traps that I’m constantly warning my clients against…
A 2007 study of Web users by Microsoft Research found that the average user has 6.5 Web passwords, each of which is shared across almost four different websites. In addition, each user has about 25 accounts that require passwords, and types an average of 8 passwords per day. In 2007 Myspace was still big, putting midi music files on your website was considered okay, and social networking hadn’t really caught fire. Care to guess how many passwords we have now?
Kaspersky Labs says that 1 in 5 users uses the same password for all accounts. 34% of people use simple passwords. Personally, judging from my experience dealing with IT customers over the past 15 years, I think Kaspersky is WAY underestimating those numbers, but who am I to judge?…
Putting the sticky note under your keyboard isn’t fooling anyone.
Here are the most common methods Kaspersky found people using to deal with their password overload.
- Memorize. These people are the equivalent of Einstein if they’re A) using strong passwords and B) not re-using passwords.
- Keeping them on Computer. Not a bad system, as long as you keep the storage program secure. Keeping countless passwords in a Word Document called “My Stuff” doesn’t really keep snooping eyes out.
- Keeping on their Phone. An ever increasingly better system with release of apps designed for the purpose! Again, putting all your passwords in the Notes application, BAD.
- On Paper. We usually find these under your keyboard.
- Sticker on Monitor. Seriously. I’m not making this stuff up. STOP IT.
- Use a Special Program. Finally! We’ve reached the one that everyone should be doing.
Adaptive! Help us stop the madness!
Calm down my baby birds. There are solutions. There are several in fact. You may have heard of Keepass, 1Password, Password Safe, Password Vault or any number of other programs used to keep track of passwords. Today though, I want to focus on one product that I think is better than the rest. Lastpass. Lastpass not only plugs into all your browsers, it encrypts your data, and stores it in the Cloud. They can’t read it because it’s encrypted to your machines, but all of your devices share your information. You simply need to use method 1. Memory to remember one password. Your Lastpass password. Once you’ve logged in to Lastpass, it fills in all your passwords throughout the day. It’s splendid times my friends. Splendid.
But Adaptive, what will all this cost me?
Lastpass has two versions, Free and Premium. I know, you’ve been down this path before and the free version didn’t do the things you needed, but Lastpass does. The features I described above are all included in the free version. The premium version allows you to sync your passwords to your mobile device as well as your desktops.
You now have no excuse for using QWERTY as your Facebook password. Go download Lastpass today and move into a whole new world of secure online identity!