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Passwords, where to keep them

You have to have passwords on the internet, for email, banking, online purchasing, even those sites that require you to register and sign in just to see more information. Everyone says not to use the same login and password for all those places, but there are very few people who can actually remember all of the different combinations of different logins and random passwords that the security experts suggest you have. The reason to not use the same login and password for banking and facebook, for example, is that if someone could figure out or steal your facebook login name and password, they could try it on all of the major bank sites, just to see if it would work, knowing that many people do use the same logins across many different sites.

The trick is to somehow store those passwords so that you can get to them when you need them. And, you should use differing login names and passwords that are not easy to guess. Which means that one of the answers is to use a computer program to store and even suggest strong and different passwords. Research using 32 million passwords exposed in a recent “break in” revealed that one of the most common passwords is “123456” and that many people use common dictionary words, people and pet names, and adjacent keys on the keyboard.

KeePass and Roboforms (Windows) and 1Password (Macintosh) are software options that let you store your passwords for different sites, and will also suggest strong and random passwords. A useful feature is that they can suggest passwords that are “memorable”, passwords that look like snippets of English, making it easier to remember and type. Each of these programs can also fill in your credentials on websites and even print out your passwords.

Of course, one of the easiest storage methods is still a small note card in your wallet. Most of us know how to “secure” our wallets and if you only write down the passwords, and can remember (with the help of some code maybe) which password is used where, you really are much more safe than when using the same password for all of your logins.

KeePass, http://keepass.info/
Roboforms, http://www.roboform.com/
1Password, http://agilewebsolutions.com/products/1Password

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