You have signed on to a new service and they ask you to create a password. The thought of having to create a new password is a nightmare to you. You ask yourself, how can I store all my passwords in one place the same way I have my money in a bank account? You can use a password manager to store all your passwords in one place and you only need to remember one master password to access them. A password manager will offer you a quick win in protecting your personal data.
Take ownership of your passwords
First of all, never use the same password twice. You open yourself up to a variety of risks. It is a common practice for people to use the same passwords for different accounts. The more you use the same password on different accounts, the weaker your password will be. You are more likely to be a victim of a data breach if you use the same password for everything. Recently the UK’S National Cyber Security Centre released a list of the passwords that were found to be the most common in data breaches.
Every website that requires you to have a password will always tell you to create strong passwords. Your passwords should contain multiple types of characters, including letters, numbers, and symbols. Sometimes this is not even enough and it requires you to vary their position of the characters. Steer away from creating patterns with your passwords. People can get this information from the unlikeliest source.
Use a password manager
Password managers can offer you assistance in protecting your passwords. Password managers like 1Password or LastPass are good tools to use to store passwords. These tools collate and store all your passwords in a central system which you can use to access all sites that you need passwords to. This allows you to remember only one password – the password to access the password manager – and give you the freedom to have as many unique, strong passwords as you like. A password manager can generate random passwords for you. You will never have to think of a new password ever again.
Password managers are a useful tool but they could have similar drawbacks to locks and keys. This should not discourage people from using password managers. Even though a lock can be cut this has not stopped people from using them. You want to put yourself in the best possible position to protect passwords.
If you are in charge of data protection or compliance at your company and if you want to know more about protecting your passwords and data protection, you should join our data protection programme or attend one of our data protection workshops.