Recycling is a good thing… but not when it comes to passwords! In this respect, the rule is set in stone: never use the same password for two different sites.
Why is this so important?
Even the strongest password, made up of a string of letters, numbers and special characters, can be compromised if you use it on several platforms. The more you recycle your password, the bigger the risk. If only one of the sites you log into with your single “safe” password is hacked, your entire digital life is in danger.
The age of the password also matters, so you should change them regularly.
This puts a great burden on us. How are we to remember all those complex passwords?
One option is to trust your memory. For example, you can devise one base password and then add different numbers and special characters for each site you log into. To be on the safe side, you may jot down reminders (not the actual passwords) in a digital file or on paper (the latter is safer).
Another option is to rely on a password manager. Good password managers use strong encryption to protect your information. However, there is a snag. Or two snags. Firstly, nothing is ever 100% foolproof. Secondly, free versions of most password managers are limited to one device, usually your phone. If you want a password manager that you can use on different devices and operating systems, you will have to pay for it. And even then you might encounter a problem or two after operating system upgrades….
Whatever you do, remember that strong, unique passwords are a necessity, but that they are only one of the elements of keeping safe online. Read more about internet safety and feel free to ask for or to give advice in the bloomin’ computer section of our Forum.
Here’s to a digitally safe 2017 and beyond!