Password Security – There has to be an easier way!

And there is… I’d like to introduce you to the Pass- word Vault, but before I start, let me clarify some password Best Practices.

Recently, a friend was tricked; they got an email from what looked like a known vendor asking to confirm their password; so they clicked the link, typed the user name and pass- word, and that was the be- ginning of a very big or- deal—they had just given a hacker their password, the one they used for all their bank sites, credit cards, and so on. What a nightmare!

You need a different password for each site, each account/bank you have—yes it’s a pain, but this is a great example of why it’s needed. Next, don’t re-use a password within 18 months, minimum. Use a ‘strong’ password, at least 8 characters, upper and lower case letters, numbers, at least one special character. The more complex, the better!

So, how to keep track of all this? Writing them down and carrying them around, or sticky notes on your monitor are definitely out! (I have a story for this, too!)

Now we can talk about the password vault—you use one ‘master’ password to get into the vault. In the vault are all the websites, application names, etc., along with their specific user name and password infor- mation, everything you visit or log into.

Where to start? There are two you can take a look at for starters: Kee Pass at, Larry’s favorite, and it’s free; and Last Pass which is also great, has a free version, and a premium version.

How does it work? You create a ‘super’ user name and password for the pass- word vault. You then enter each website you visit, or program you log into, along with the user name and password. When you want to log into any of these, you launch the vault (usually from your laptop/desktop) and click the URL in the vault, select ‘auto-type’ and you’re in!

How to get started? Choose a vault, start with one or two sites and prac- tice using the software. When you’re ready, move the rest. When it’s time to change passwords, let the vault auto-generate new ones! — CMW/LAW