Best Password Utilities for the PC
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We all know about the basics of keeping our information safe; often, that starts with a good strong password. Now, I am not here to give you a long-winded lecture on how to make a hard-to-break password. That subject is broached all too often and has been covered by more security experts than we have time to list here. No, we're going to talk about how you can manage the multitude of passwords you already have.
If you don't have a multitude of passwords, then you may not be as secure as you think. Most security experts agree that your passwords should be unique on each site. Of course, Jzr25@C* is a strong password but if you use it in 20 places it becomes a great deal less secure.
You don't believe that you could have 20 places to use your password? Well let's take a look at the list:
- To access your work computer.
- To access your home computer.
- For your work email remotely.
- For your home email.
- For your online banking.
- For an online financial services account, such as a stock brokerage.
- For your instant messenger.
- For your Facebook/Myspace page.
- For your professional profile at LinkedIn.
- For your job search sites, like Monster or Hotjobs.
- For your website or blog.
- For any online forums or communities to which you belong.
- For your FTP service, or similar programs.
- For any content management systems you may use.
- For pay-to-access or invite-only websites.
- For online games like WOW or online components of single person games.
- For locking sensitive files or documents.
- For web-based backup services, or software-based ones like MobileMe.
- For iTunes or other media download sites you may use.
- For VoIP systems if you use them.
That's 20 possible uses, but even if you don't do all 20 (and I can think of few users who would do all of them on any given day), when you use multiple instances of the same password, you run the risk of having all of your systems breached when someone figures out all of your passwords at once. That does not seem like such a problem when it's your old membership to the Brittany Spears fan club, but it becomes a serious problem when it is used to access your online banking site or Paypal.
Of course, this is just one problem with having 20 unique passwords for each site or program that needs one. They will be a bit challenging to keep in your head even during the best of times, let alone when you are tired and stressed out.
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