After one client was notified that her passwords were found in a data leak and may compromise the accounts from her iPhone:
Compromised... Some of your passwords have appeared in a data leak, putting those accounts at high risk of compromise. iPhone can help...
It turns out, other than the password was to easy to guess, it was also due to password reuse. Of course the immediate action you need to take is to follow its recommendations to change all the affected passwords.
But what needs to be explored further is why people still use the same password for their accounts although it’s been proven that this cause more damage when they get hacked. This issue stems from the fact that most non-technical people still resort to using memory to store their passwords, so they’re limited to either one short, easy to guess password or a bit more complicated one but then it’s used in every other accounts or even worse short and easy and reused everywhere. It bears repeating that this is a really dangerous practice, so we need to stop using the same password for two or more accounts.
So if we need to have a unique password for each account, it will be overly difficult (if not impossible) to create those passwords, much less memorizing them. That’s where a password manager comes handy.
Although password manager is already in use for a long time, there’s still a big gap between the technical and non-tech people. The latter, even if they have the password manager installed, still hesitate to use it, just because old habit dies hard or maybe they feel intimidated to try something new.
Nobody should feel intimidated using a password manager. If anything, using a password manager can actually make your life easier.
Here’s a simple way to get started. In this post, we’ll use 1Password as our password manager of choice. However, this is not the only one available. You can always choose your own password manager that suits your need. The principle is going to be the same.
By using a password manager, instead of memorizing so many easy-to-guess passwords, you just need to create one long passphrase and use that as your “master key” that you need to guard closely.
To increase the security of the master password, make that a passphrase that is easy to remember and makes sense to you. For example, you can use an unusual sentence such as, “What book do I like? The answer is Romeo and Juliet.” It is really up to you whether you want to use punctuation, capitalization or not. The point is, the more complex it is, the better as long as you can remember it.
Once you decided on the master password, install 1Password app (both on your phone and PC). If you want to make it even easier, don’t forget to install the browser extensions.
One useful shortcut to remember is CTRL + \ for Windows (or Command + \ on Mac) that you can use to enter your user id and password on a login page. But in order to use this feature, you need to have your 1Password unlocked first. Otherwise, 1Password will ask you to type in your master password to open it first.