A dilemma today of being online and using the Internet is having to login to web sites to buy things, post comments or use social networking.
Logging in with the same password on different web sites is a huge risk to your online and financial security. If a single site at which you use a common password is hacked or compromised then that login information can be used elsewhere and anywhere that you use those same login credentials is easy to access by a person wanting to use your login for their gains.
Imagine if you have the same email address and password for buying Apple products and that you have the same email and address for another web site. Maybe you have logged into that other web site just once or twice in the last few years. Let us say that the the email address and password for the non-Apple site is stolen by hackers. That information could be automatically fed into a hacker’s hacking network and the information used to attempt to gain access to thousands of web sites. Without a doubt an attempt will be made against Apple due to the popularity of it.
So, the non-Apple web site has effectively given a hacker the ability to buy tens of thousands of dollars at Apple on your credit card since the login credentials are valid. Obviously there are other considerations such as shipping address, etc. but the bottom line is you no longer control your Apple account.
I cannot stress highly enough how important it is to have a different login for all of your online logins.
“How on earth can someone do that ?” I hear you ask. Well, writing down passwords for every website or even storing it in a spreadsheet is an incredibly daunting task. One that people just don’t usually do. To answer the question… you need to use password software that will do this for you.
LastPass is a free but is also a subscription service for $1 per month if you want to use mobile devices. This is incredible value for money considering what a stolen email address and password might cost.
The Official Website
LastPass installs a plug-in to your web browser. Once installed, this icon is visible in the web browser bar. Virtually every web browser you can think of is supported.
Here are examples of the type of passwords LastPass create…
If your email were, for example, myemail@myemailprovider you could have a password for logging into Amazon of 6zP952uU2Mt9wuD352Re. Obviously this password is completely impossible to guess but would be equally impossible to remember. Not using a password manager like LastPass means you are losing out on an incredibly high level of security for your online logins.
Remember though that having one complicated password and using it on every web site defeats the object of keeping different passwords. If a single website is hacked and your complex password is stolen it is still easy for it to be used elsewhere.
Here is an example of how LastPass handles offering making a unique password for each of your logins. Boxes can be checked and unchecked to tailor the password to the requirements of the web site or other login.
A last thought on LastPass… your passwords are securely encrypted so that only you can access them. Do not forget your master password.
Videos of how LastPass works can be found here.
Create a LastPass account here.