Password security is more important now than it has ever been. We store more personal data online and also use online banking on the Internet. The only thing protecting your sensitive data from cyber criminals are your passwords.
There are several ways to record passwords but which ways are secure?
Writing Down Passwords
Like many people, you may write down your passwords so you don’t forget them.
Historically this was always discouraged by security experts and considered bad practice. However there are now new schools of thought that suggest we should write down our passwords. This is to encourage us to use more complicated passwords that are not easy to remember and therefore we need to write them down. This was first suggested by security expert Bruce Schneier but is open to a lot of debate. However banks still do not recommend writing down your passwords and you will be in trouble with your bank if you do not keep passwords secure.
Storing Passwords on your Computer
Some people store their passwords on their computer in Word documents or text files. However this is a higher security risk than writing down your password. This is because if your computer gets compromised either from malware or a virus then it can be easy for an attacker to gain access to ALL your passwords.
If you do want to store passwords on your computer then the most secure solution is to use a software application that will encrypt and secure all your passwords.
Using Apps to Secure Passwords
There are lots of apps available that will store your passwords in an encrypted format on your computer or mobile device. These are sometimes referred to as Password Management Software.
There are different methods that these apps use to store your passwords and a few key details that need to be looked at before deciding.
The first thing to look at are reviews, as with any product it best to find out what people are saying about it.
How does the app store your passwords? An app will either store them locally or on the cloud
- When storing locally the same risk applies to storing them on your computer, however all apps should come with encryption built in, if not then you shouldn’t use it
- When storing on the cloud, encryption is still just as important, but it is also good to know who is storing your data. This comes back to looking at reviews as only peoples experience can really tell you the whole picture.
In the end it is up to you to remember your passwords and make sure that your passwords are secure. But if you do need to use a password manager for remembering passwords then come back next week when we will look into the some of the highest rated software for doing so and bring you our opinion on them.