Passwords are the devil

Don’t you just hate passwords! Passwords are the necessary evil of the internet. Until something better comes along we will just have to live with them. If you want to use services like Gmail, Facebook, iCloud passwords are the barrier to entry. We all have them, they are hard to remember, they have to have strange characters (%&#^#) they have to have CAPITALS and numb3rs in them. We write them down in books, on pieces of paper and in our “notes” apps.

Passwords are there for your protection, without them anyone with your email address could access your information. This means they could take your pictures see your emails/messages or even get access to your bank. They could even pretend to be you, for example if someone got into your Facebook, they could post as you and change your personal preferences. The good news is that very few of us will ever have undying bad happen but it does still happen and it is a real issue. A small amount of bad people really make the rest of our lives more difficult, but isn’t that always the way.

There are better ways to handle them than writing them down on a piece of paper. There are services such as Lastpass and 1password that can manage your passwords for different sites and services LifeHacker Password Managers is a breakdown of 5 such services. They do require, yes, a  password to access them, but the point is that you only have to remember one password. Ideally you would want a very difficult one. If you use a mac, with iCloud keychain you an also use that to have your passwords remembered on your iPhone, iPad and Mac computers natively.

Now back to what I said earlier about something coming along that is better. There is nothing that is widely adopted yet however there are additional security measures that you can look into that make you more secure. Things like two factor or two step authentication are ways that someone who just has your password can still not have access to your stuff. Basically it boils down to remembering a password and having a thing, like your phone or an RSA key. This means a bad guy would have to learn your password AND steal something from you to be able to get your stuff.

At the end of the day, passwords are needed to do any dealings on the internet and often at work too. But hopefully this will give you a better understanding of why we need them and how to manage them better.

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