If you’re a fan of ‘80s pop culture, you may be familiar with the science fiction spoof comedy, Spaceballs. In one scene, King Roland is forced to provide the combination to a door that guards his planet’s atmosphere.
“The combination is...1-2-3-4-5.” To which the mock-Darth Vader villain named “Dark Helmet” exclaims, “That’s the stupidest combination I’ve ever heard in my life! That’s the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!”
While the joke is how terrible the combination is, what is even more of a joke is how most of us think our passwords are fairly secure.
Your Passwords Probably Stink
If you chuckled at the Spaceballs scenario, there’s a good chance that your passwords aren’t any more secure when tested against modern computer decryption technologies.
"Why are bad passwords so dangerous?"
“Bad passwords are one of the easiest ways to compromise a system,” Edward Snowden was quoted in an interview “For somebody who has a very common 8-character password, it can literally take less than a second for a computer to go through the possibilities and pull that password out.” According to a Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, over 70% of employees were found to reuse passwords on the job. According to that same report, over 81% of cybersecurity breaches were due to weak or stolen passwords. How can you better equip your passwords against cybersecurity threats? With a robust password manager.
"What is a password manager?"
A password manager is typically a third-party service that stores, presents, and can even create passwords across your many different systems and accounts.
The Benefits of a Password Manager
- Secure Storage: Where are your passwords located now? Are they in a Word document? A text note? Dropbox? Google Drive? A password manager keeps your passwords out of reach from cybersecurity threats with robust authentication protocols.
- Load Off Your Mind: A password manager removes your need to memorize many different passwords that are subject to change. This increased storage allows you to have unique passwords for every single account, greatly reducing the chances of your data being compromised.
- Beefier Passwords: Built into many password managers are tools to generate new, incredibly complex passwords. No worries about remembering them, though, as they are stored for your convenience.
- Availability: Modern password managers are designed with your multi-device life in mind. The most popular password managers have apps and extensions for just about every major operating system available. Your chances of being locked out are extremely remote.
Can I Trust Them?
Major password manager services keep your data in an encrypted form. The only time it is decrypted for use is as it passes through the extension or application after an authentication process. Even if these services were compromised, all that any cyber thieves would come away with is a bunch of encrypted data that is worthless without the decryption authentication process.
While we aren’t going to recommend any specific password managers in this article, we do advise that you use your best judgment if you’re considering using a password manager. Make sure that this is a trusted company in good standing.