November 7, 2011, 10 AM ET
Today I discovered an interesting article by James Fallows, a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has written several articles for this magazine since the late 1970s.
The author shares my passion for online password managers. It is just so convenient to store passwords online for example with 1password and the Dropbox. James uses LastPass for his passwords and he tells us that LastPass is able to piggyback on Google’s two-step security system.
Why are password managers so good?
People tend to use always the same passwords across all their accounts. E-mail, online banking, social accounts and more. It’s even worse: users don’t use secure passwords. They tend to use for example their uncle’s name, 123456, or other similar easy to guess passwords. If a hacker gains access to one account he easily will be able to access all the other accounts that you registered with the same password.
Password managers are able to generate extremely secure passwords and save them automatically online as well as off-line. When you visit the sites that you have stored a password of you can login automatically with your password manager.
You can access all your passwords with a master password. The author argues that due to encryption this is the safest method to use passwords online. Thus making it a safe bet for your online backup service as well.
The author recommends LastPass because of the 2 factor system of identification. In combination with encryption this keeps all your passwords and logins safe. Also, when you let a password manager put in your password automatically hackers can’t log your passwords because you are not typing anything.
Mr. Fallows also cites 2 important tips:
1. Throwaway e-mail accounts
When you are a heavy online user and use a lot of services that you just might want to be trying one time it is very advisable to use one-way e-mail accounts for example Guerillamail.com or mailinator.com. You can automatically create an e-mail account that will exist only for a certain Time period. This gives you time to activate your account and use it accordingly.
2. Personal clouds
Either you create your own cloud server where you store your data such as Amazon S3. Or you can choose an online backup service. Cloud storage has become very cheap. So everybody can afford it and they are very secure.
So, what are the takeaways here?
1. Always use a password manager. I personally recommend 1 password. They integrate just perfectly within every major browser and operating system.
2. Create secure passwords. And don’t use only one password. Create for each account is separate passwords this way you can assure the highest security for your accounts.
3. Use cloud storage. Use a cloud storage that provides online storage for your files and use the save password to login to your own cloud. You can sync your passwords among multiple devices. That gives you freedom were to log in.
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