Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Using password-management software, part of Learning Computer Security and Internet Safety (2014).
- I mentioned how it's not a good idea to write down passwords and tape them to your monitor. I also absolutely understand that it's just about impossible to remember all of our passwords nowadays. More and more places have complex password requirements and we're also being required to change our password more often. These are very good things and I'm definitely not complaining, but fortunately there's good, safe password management software out there for just such purpose. The two top contenders is password management software is LastPass, which you can check out at lastpass.com, and 1Password, which you can check out at agilebits.com/onepassword.
I have 1Password installed here, so I'm going to use that to show you how password management software works. When you install the software it gives you this browser toolbar button, it's always running, so that when you create a new log in somewhere, it's going to store it into your vault. Your vault is on your desktop and for an additional fee for both pieces of software you can sync your passwords across all of your devices and computers. Now one password that you actually need to remember, and that's the password to unlock your vault.
So I'm going to put that in right now, the vault will be unlocked and now I can see all the logins. Let's take etsy.com for example. Now 1Password stored this etsy.com account while I had logged in to it. If I click etsy.com I can see the username here, I can also see the url that's needed to log in to it. Now this is all fake data, so I'm not going to worry about revealing any of this to you. But what you can do with the password, if you ever need to just see what it is and not access the website, you can in fact, reveal the password.
So now we can see what it is, but in most cases you'll never need to do this. I'm going to close out of 1Password now and show you how it works. Let's see it work with a real log in. I'm going to click on Etsy, I'm on the Etsy website. There's a Sign In button, so I'll click on that. Now when I signed in on Etsy and registered for the first time 1Password stored that log in for me. So now I'm on the Username and Password field, but I don't need to know what those are. As long as the 1Password toolbar icon is running, I can click on it when I'm at the sign in screen.
Now the software is smart enough to know that I'm on etsy.com, so it's only going to show me the log in for Etsy. All I need to do is click on the word Etsy and it's going to populate my Username and Password and automatically log me in, I didn't need to know what those were. So that's how easy it is to use password management software, like LastPass or 1Password. I highly recommend using some sort of password management software. Not only is it more secure than writing passwords down somewhere, but it can also save you hours of frustration when you can't get your work done because of a forgotten password.
- Installing updates
- Using antivirus software and protecting against viruses
- Enabling Windows Firewall
- Using password-management software
- Encrypting files that contain sensitive data
- Securing your router and protecting the SSID
- Understanding the signs of a secure website
- Checking settings for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari
- Unsubscribing from email subscriptions
- Reviewing site privacy settings
- Browsing on a public computer
- Understanding cookies
- Protecting other people's names and locations
- Fact-checking email warnings