Passwords – Password Managers

Following on from last weeks post about how to make passwords stronger, this is the next step in securing you online identity. The use of a password manager.

image showing a password as a dial lock to signify the use of a password manager
Eye-catching image to help with visualization of a password manager.

A password manager is a program that allows you to store a number of passwords, and other items, behind a master password. A lot of these tools also store them in the cloud so that you can access them from all your devices, phone, computer, and tablet.

Main advantage of a password manager?

As mentioned above you only need to remember the master password, all the other passwords are stored for you, on tablets and phones, this can be stored behind face recognition or finger prints.

What password managers are available?

Here is a short list, there are probably more but these are the clear leaders in the field: (in alphabetical order)

  • Dashlane – https://www.dashlane.com
  • Kaspersky – https://www.kaspersky.co.uk/password-manager
  • Lastpass – https://www.lastpass.com
  • Nordpass – https://nordpass.com
  • Remembear – https://www.remembear.com
  • RoboForm – https://www.roboform.com
  • Sticky Password – https://www.stickypassword.com
  • 1Password – https://1password.com

A review of these products is beyond the scope of this document, this is intended to introduce that these products exist and can be used to help you become safer online.

Passwords – simple steps to make them STRONGER

In this changing world where we are having to use new tools and methods to comunicate, we are having to create more accounts, remember more passwords.

If I had to guess most people are probably re-using a password over and over again, and as this is not secure here are a couple of tips to make your passwords stronger.

I think we all know that PASSWORD is a really bad password, but will a simple couple of steps we can start making it stronger. All examples below are done using Kaspersky’s password checker, linked here, (don’t use real passwords in this dialogue).

For this example I will use the word “PASSWORD” for my password, for all that is good in this world, DO NOT use this as the basis for a strong password.

  1. Original password takes 1 second to crack.
Image showing that the password "password" would take 1 second to crack on the average computer.
Images showing that is takes 1 second to break a password of password.

2. By adding the name of the webpage to the end of the password so it becomes “passwordfacebook” and it takes

password with the name "passwordfacebook" of the website added takes about two hours to crack on a standard computer
Image showing that is takes 2 hours to break a password of passwordfacebook

As we can see this simple change has changed how secure the password becomes.

3. By mixing the two words from above “password” and “facebook” to make “passfacewordbook” then it takes

Image showing the mixing the words password and facebook "passfacewordbook" gives a password that would take 4 centuries to crack on a standard computer.
Image showing that is takes 4 centuries to break a password of passfacewordbook

This change is a little more complex but it makes a really big difference.

4. The final option is to mix the letters to make “pfaascsewboorodk”

Mixing the letters alternately of password and facebook would need 10000+ centuries to crack on a standard computer
Image showing that is takes 10000+ centuries if you mix the letters of password and facebook

In these samples I have not even used capital letter, symbols, or numbers, if you where to add those in you be able to make the password even more secure, an easy way to incorporate these would be (and I will use the last password above as my basis)

Starting with : pfaascsewboorodk

Adding A Capital : PFaascsewboorodk ( I have just made each word start with a capital)

Add a symbol : PFaa$c$ewboorodk ( changing a S for a $ )

Add a number : PFaas$c$ewb00r0dk ( changing the o for a 0 ‘zero’)

Using these tips you should be able to make sure that any website or app that your sign up to can have a good strong password to keep all your details save.

Please note: if you give you password to someone, then it doesn’t matter how strong it is.