Passwords – a balance between security and ease of use

passwordsAs you may already know, a Russian gang stole 1.2 billion passwords. This is a great time to change your passwords.

Theresa Chavez, Computer Support for University of Wyoming Extension, offered some great tips for managing your passwords:

  1. Create passwords that are 10 characters or longer and include uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols and numbers.
  2. Create a unique password for each account.
  3. Do not use the same password for money accounts and social media accounts.
  4. Don’t store your passwords in an unsecured document on your computer.
  5. Don’t share your password.
  6. Change your password regularly.

I would like to offer some other tips to help manage your passwords. Read more

Improving your password security with KeePass

Last week, I read an article “After LinkedIn: How to protect your password from hacks” describing how LinkedIn was hacked and millions of passwords were stolen. Fortunately, LinkedIn encrypts their passwords, but easy passwords are easy to decypher. Regardless, I thought this was a good time to figure out how to beef up my passwords, thus making them more secure to hacking. As a result of reading the article mentioned, I downloaded and tried out KeePass, a password safe.

KeePass will allow you to store all your passwords under one secure master password.

It is good practice to have a different password for all your different accounts. It is also good practice to have passwords that are not easily broken. Unfortunately, what is good for security is not good for the human mind. However, KeePass allows you to store different secure passwords for each of your accounts. You need to only remember one secure pass phrase to access the other accounts; this is much easier to remember.

I have created a couple of videos to show you how it works.

How to log in with KeePass

Creating a KeePass Entry

In our office, we are now using KeePass to store shared passwords for the various Web sites we manage. We maintain the KeePass “safe” in a shared Dropbox folder.  You can easily run KeePass off of a USB drive.

If you are concerned about the security of your information, I recommend trying out a program like KeePass.