During a recent security scan I noticed that client’s site had been infiltrated with malware. After cleanup, I let her know that I would be changing her website password. I sent her a new password. Her new password was a random selection of fifteen characters.
An hour or two later I got a response:
“Really? Is that necessary?”
“Yes,” I replied. “Absolutely.”
The first and easiest barrier to hacks are strong, random passwords. Your passwords are the lock on the front door of your house, the key to the vault where your money and identity reside, and they should never be easy to guess or decipher.
Internet bots, thousands upon thousands of them, are set up specifically to try and infiltrate your site by deciphering your user name and password. I see sites that are attacked randomly hundreds of times each month (and thwarted by our security software.) It doesn’t matter if your website is an e-commerce store that rivals Amazon or a one-page personal blog about your cat. Every site is vulnerable and every site can be targeted.
Strong Password Generators
Say goodbye to the days where you used your pet’s name and birthday as your password and say hello to strong password generators. These are online websites that can be trusted to choose a truly random password for you. Most have “recipes” if there are specific criteria that need to be met for the password you need.
Here is one I use frequently:
Strong Password Generator, https://passwordsgenerator.net
As you’ll notice, you’re met immediately with a “password recipe” and if you scroll down you’ll see basic criteria to help you create a strong and random password.
You may be wondering, “So if I have to have a different password for each account, how am I going to remember them all?” Read on to discover efficient ways to manage your list.
Online Password Managers
Listed here are the most trusted online password managers and links to where you can find them:
Last Pass: https://www.lastpass.com
1 Password: https://1password.com
All three programs have free and premium versions and the premium versions are quite affordable. My favorite is 1 Password. All I have to do is remember one password to access them all and it has a built in password generator. Check them out and see which works best for you!
Final story…last winter I was sitting down to lunch with a friend and although it was the first time either of us had ever been to that particular restaurant, he logged right in to the wifi without ever asking for the password. I asked him how he knew their password. He replied, “I just used the name of the restaurant and added 123 to the end.”
There are smart people out there. Do your best to stay one step ahead.