I put an explanation mark in the title because everyone should be using a password generator. It’s important to not use easy passwords or the same passwords for more than one account.
What’s wrong with using the same passwords over and over?
If you use the same password on say your banking site and let’s, say JIM-AWESOME-STORE.COM – if Jim’s Awesome Store gets hacked and the password data base is leaked it can be an excessively big problem. Other people (or bots) on the internet will find your username and password combination on other big sites to see if they can get a hit. If or better yet when – this password is logged into all kinds of collateral damage can happen.
If someone can get your personal email address and password, they can do all sorts of sad things. They could set up accounts for other websites or even worse – use your email to reset other passwords that are tied to it.
Once you get caught in the web it can cause you big problems along the way.
But Dave, what do I do?
First things first – let’s get an idea of if your email has been hacked or not. Go over to my favorite site for checking leaks – haveibeenpwned.com
Put in your email address and it will check with the big leaks to see if your password is floating out on the internet.
CHANGE YOUR EMAIL PASSWORD AND TURN ON TWO-FACTOR-AUTHENTICATION
Your email provider should let you connect your cell phone number to your email account. This will let you get notifications and the ability to let yourself into your email securely.
Here’s a list of open sources [FREE] password managers
These three are free and should get you off to a good start.
But how do I use a password manager
When you are working with a password manager for the first time it’s a little annoying. The best thing to do is start using the sites you use a lot. Reset the passwords to the accounts and generate strong, random passwords with special characters in them. Characters like! @ # $ % ^ & *( ) . , – make it hard – you don’t have to remember any more, your password manager will 🙂
Good / Free random password generator sites
Those should be enough to get you started. Again, the main objective is to make sure that your accounts for different sites have strong, randomly generated passwords. That way if someone gets your username and password for one website or web app, they won’t get access to everything you have online.
Auto login please
Another benefit to using a password manager is that usually these managers will automatically log you onto the website. Some will auto fill the username and passwords for you or let you one time copy them from their encrypted store to use for login. They really do make living on the internet much easier.
I let Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or some other browsers manage my logins
YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE A BAD TIME.
The main reason I say this is because those passwords aren’t encrypted. The problem with that is there are a lot of tools that can be used to read those files. Sure, it could be a computer technician like myself, but it also could be a virus, Trojan, password stealer or any other name of shady software on the internet that will try and steal your passwords right away. With one click – all your passwords could be secretly emailed (or uploaded to a website) without you even knowing.
You should use a password manager.
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