It’s one of the 21st century’s prime annoyances.
Worse, it’s a necessary evil where virtually everyone is woefully deficient:
Creating and maintaining effective passwords
Every year, studies confirm that most users stay with choices that can be cracked by rank amateurs.
Like this four-year-old. Fact. The kid actually hacked the FBI.
And who would’ve thought multi-million-dollar enterprises like major-league baseball teams would be vulnerable to the same issues?
This story from the 2015 baseball season was startling:
And remember this bold advertising claim from 2006?
Dude got cracked. So did his customers. And not just once.
Name an e-commerce entrepreneur who doesn’t keep sensitive personal information online, including access to financial accounts. It’s a prerequisite for the Dot Com lifestyle.
What’s a responsible person with a rational budget to do?
Well, for starters:
- Come to grips with the fact that 123456 is not a good idea,
- Random character juggles like w03^xl0hGw4%~pS(dq/4@ aren’t any better, and
- Cracking has virtually become a ubiquitous hobby.
Clearly, complex passwords are mandatory, but that presents a practical problem. How does one remember 25-75 or more different mega-length passwords?
It could be time to get more organized with your encryption in a random sort of way. And that’s not dichotomy of statement, as this solution confirms:
There are numerous master password services available, including some with a free option.
While the 1Password app requires customers to pay for a license, it has advantages that make this a worthwhile purchase. Among them is it automatically detects websites that require passwords and/or when a new password is created, asking if you want them added to your vault.
As well, its encryption format makes sense:
Fortunately, this enables a bit of simplicity that made its service a no-brainer for me:
- a unique, nonsensical but easy-to-remember phrase is the toughest to crack, and
- with a master password, you only need to remember just one.
It’s doubtful the North Koreans will take an interest any time soon in what data we’re keeping confidential, but there’s a horde of others who might, for fun and/or profit.
A master password is a practical way of denying them access while facilitating ours.