At last week’s Refuse To Be A Victim class we had a brief discussion regarding passwords. During that talk I mentioned a tool called LastPass. This tool helps you to maintain a collection of complex passwords which are hard for attackers to obtain via “brute force”. It also helps you have a different password for every place you need one. As we discussed in class, this is critical for keeping your accounts secure. If you have the same password in different locations then when one of those locations/companies is compromised you are at risk. This happens because the bad guys take all of the usernames/passwords that they get, and they use them to login to every other site that they can find. You can prevent this either by having different usernames or by having different passwords. A program like LastPast helps you do either one. Usually having different passwords is the easier method, but either way works.
There are other programs that do what LastPass does. KeePass is one. My personal favorite is PasswordSafe, but – as I mentioned in class – I am pretty far toward the “cautious” end of the spectrum, and the way I operate computers is not for everyone. LastPass is one of the programs that makes this easy for everyone to use, while still maintaining a good level of security.