Ask Tech Effect: Should I Still Use A Password?
Have you ever thought about how you would protect yourself online?
Most people would immediately start mentioning their password, and how important it is to keep it safe.
What most people don’t tend to remember is the number of passwords they have to remember, and how seemingly every online organization is being subject to attacks on a daily basis.
Passwords were designed to make it difficult for other people to access your account. It was like a lock on the door that would discourage people against trying to pry the lock open.
However, it seems that nowadays, more and more people are gaining the ability to either create keys to the lock or find a repository of keys to use. It makes passwords look less and less safe, and people want security in their lives.
For a long time, experts have cautioned against practices such as using the same password for all websites, advised us to use longer and more difficult passwords, even recommending password managers to keep track of all the passwords.
But with the recent security attacks, people are starting to wonder if passwords are really effective anymore. Is there still a place for passwords in our current technology world?
The answer continues to be yes.
However, it’s largely recognized that you need a few more tools to make your passwords stronger and a better security measure. For the large part, the passwords we once used are no longer the strong powerhouses that they used to be.
Password Habits Need To Change
When passwords are taught to children in schools, they are told to use phrases that they can easily remember, because it helps people remember them.
As you grow older however, and as more people are requesting their own accounts online, websites and other services have to ask people to create accounts and new passwords.
It leads to users having a great deal of accounts, and depending on the industry that you work in, you could be managing hundreds of accounts.
Of course, this is all very difficult to remember, as it is hard enough to keep track of everything that is going on in your life. That’s why regular users default to using simple-to-remember passwords, or passwords that are the same across multiple accounts.
While it is understandable, that’s part of the reason why passwords are becoming weaker.
Using easy-to-remember passwords allows a hacker to easily access your account should they be able to guess what the password is.
That’s why things like birthdays, pet names and passwords like “password” are not advisable, as they are all easy to guess.
It would sound silly to suggest that people are still using these as passwords, but there are still a number of individuals who are using easy-to-remember passwords such as those.
If several accounts belonging to the user used the same password, you’ve essentially given a hacker the equivalent of a master key.
Now this may not be such a large problem for an account on a free-to-play online game for example, but this could be very bad for a user whose online banking details are similar to their email and recipe site account.
Good password habits are hard to pick up, mainly because they require that people become more innovative. However, password habits go a long way in ensuring that your personal information is not easily compromised.
More Security Is Always Recommended
Passwords can be strong security measures, but everyone is now wondering what will happen if you break past that layer of security.
Experts recommend using strategies like two-factor authentication and putting the ability to lock down your accounts so that you have more security in the event of a hacker’s access.
It will always seem like a pain, especially because it requires more effort on your part.
The added security, however, is far stronger than that of just a single password. It is also customizable, since people will often pair off two-factor authentication with a device that they already own, like a phone.
These extra layers of security make it difficult for potential hackers to get to the information they are looking for. It means that they have more obstacles that they don’t necessarily have the technology to overcome.
Take two-factor authentication as an example. If you set it up so you need a password and a code sent to your phone, it is very unlikely that a hacker has your phone to get the code as well.
Of course, it’s more annoying than just relying on a single password. However, the added security is a big deterrent for crime, and it helps people sleep soundly at night knowing that their precious information is not going to be compromised.
Password Managers Can Help Keep Track Of Information
Measures such as two-factor authentication have their uses, but sometimes you may not feel it is necessary. Sometimes your membership on a website (like a website for chicken recipes) may not require any safety. After all, all someone could gather are recipes that weren’t yours to begin with.
But with the number of accounts that you will have to make in our world, it is unwise to leave security as it is.
Technology experts have realized this, and have created tools to help regular users keep track of their account information. These tools take the form of a password manager, programs created to store passwords in an encrypted state for as many websites as it is needed.
It is the perfect way to store passwords for accounts, as even if a hacker manages to find the passwords, the encryption means that the information is effectively useless. Password managers are also security experts, who have survived hacks and prevented hackers from reaching valuable information.
Using a password manager is also an effective way of introducing yourself to new security measures in an easy-to-use fashion. It’s an upgrade from having to keep your passwords written down on a sheet of paper (which is still unsafe) and is no different from having an Internet browser save information.
Password managers make passwords more effective by making sure you can utilize their complexity to their greatest effect while you get the same search ability that you would get from having a paper list in front of you.
Passwords Are Still Good, But Need Work
Just as you wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked, a password is the same. Even if you are making an online account for anything, do take the time to actually construct an actual password that can secure your account as much as possible.
However, passwords are no longer the one-stop security function that they used to be. They need some assistance and should be regarded as the basics of security, rather than all you need.
If you are willing to do a bit of research (or talk to your IT department) about security, you will be able to find out more information on making passwords work for you, as well as additional security measures you can take for you and the people around you.
Trust in the password, but also realizes that it needs some help in this day and age.