So, while the title of this post may seem like click-bait, it should only take looking at one or two recent news articles to see why it’s true. It seems like every day we turn aroiund and yet another high-name tech company has been victim to a breach, some dating back years.
The most recent of these, Yahoo!, as according to Wired, literally affects half a billion accounts. And with the other breaches that have happened in the past, it’s only even more obvious that we should be using proper password practices.
The problem is that most people probably don’t. Good passwords, as you’ve probably heard in the past, should be easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. Sounds easy, right? Well, no, it isn’t, because you’re supposed to use a completely unique password for each and every account on each and every site you use. With how Internet sites are these days, that’s effectively impossible for a human being to accomplish. So, what are we to do so that we can mitigate the extent that these data breaches?
Use a password manager. Why? Well, because a password manager can securely keep all your credentials safe, while only requiring the user to remember a single password. And it allows for generation of long passwords that are unique to each site and auto-fill them so you don’t have to ever remember them.
So, you’re probably now asking yoruself what password managers are out there. While this post is not intended to be a list of what password managers are out there and which ones are the best to use, LastPass and KeePass are two password managers that I’ve personally used. Others exist, and they each have their pros and cons to consider.
For example, KeePass is completely free and open-source. This means that you’d never spend any money ever to use it, and if you’re a programmer, you can literally inspect the code it is using to make sure there’s nothing sneaky going on. However, the downside is that, at least of the last time I used it, there’s not a mobile version of it, and if yoiur password vault (the store of all your account passwords) gets damanged or lost on your local machine, you’re out of luck unless you’ve made a backup of it.
LastPass, on the other hand, while not open-source, has both desktop and mobile clients, and can be used across all modern web browsers. And the password vault is stored remotely, so you’re not dependent on your local PC backups to ensure you don’t accidentally lose it. One small downside of LastPass is, however, that while using it just on desktops or just on mobile is free, they require a $1/month subscription to be able to use it on both desktops and mobile.
So, in the growing landscape of the growing need for accounts to use services online and data breaches making the news headlines, it’s highly encourage that you follow proper password practices and have unique and strong passwords for each site. And the easiest way to do that is with a password manager.