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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.

4-year-old hacker

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:

They quickly found the rogue employee, who’s facing prison time. However, it was the cavalier attitude toward passwords by Houston’s front office that’s breathtaking.

And remember this bold advertising claim from 2006?

Lifelock ad

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:

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:

1Password philosophy

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.

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