How to manage all of those passwords and PIN numbers

We’re all pretty well clued up about computer security, certainly a lot more than we used to be. However many of us are still lazy when it comes to our own personal data security.

A recent survey uncovered some interesting password facts. Did you know the most common password is password, swiftly followed by 123456. Here’s some other shockers:

  • Nearly 5% of people use password as their password.
  • 14% of people are using one of the most common 10 passwords.
  • 91% of people are using one of the most common 1000 passwords.

That last one is the most surprising for me! It basically means the the majority of people could have their data hacked into by using a “brute force” attack. That’s where a would be hacker uses software to automatically try a combination of words to gain access to your data. They only need to try 1000 words from a well-published list, and they’re in!

These facts point towards the reasons for the problem; we all know we should be using a secure password, with random letters and numbers, and we should be using a different password for each site we use, a different PIN number for each credit card, and so on. It just doesn’t work that way though does it?

If you’re determined to follow the guidelines, there are some tools to help you. My favourite is 1Password, it’s a great tool (requires purchase, but not very expensive) which stores all your complicated passwords, codes, PIN numbers etc… in one place, all fully encrypted using one secure master passphrase. The beauty of this solution is you can access your password list from multiple devices, they have an iPad and iPhone app, plus an Android app, and software for Windows and Mac.

So, hopefully I have shown you that your current passwords are probably insecure, but on the plus side, there are a few nice apps available to help you solve the problem and stay secure.

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