Passwords have a long history that goes back to before the digital age. But it’s only in our times that they’ve become everyday life—most netizens use dozens of passwords.
Passwords are supposed to safeguard your online accounts. But in the light of leaks involving millions of passwords like the LinkedIn 2012 data breach, caution is crucial.
Having a password is not enough to stay safe. Your passwords, each one of them, need to be effective.
Learn more about what makes strong passwords and how a Chrome password manager can boost your online security.
The Problem with Complex Passwords
Simple, easy-to-guess passwords are common because they are convenient. Setting “abcd1234”, your birthday, or even “password” as your password is a lot easier than creating a complex password.
An effective password contains a combination of numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and symbols. It’s at least 8 characters long. Most importantly, the password it’s unique to each account or app you use. And you change it every 60 days to make it harder for hackers to figure it out.
Multiply that by the total number of websites and apps you use, and it may sound like some serious work. And it is. You may easily end up having to manage (and remember!) over 80 passwords.
If all that sounds like you’re creating an infallible password, well, think again. Back in 2012, a 25-GPU computer running brute force password cracking software could guess 350 billion passwords per second. Adding up the numbers, it could break a complex, 8-character password in just 10 minutes.
It’s true that most websites or apps lock access to an account after repeated failed password attempts. And they may use other security practices that make hackers’ life harder, like encryption.
But password vulnerabilities remain, especially when hackers target personal devices rather than accounts.
The good news is that you can manage a lot of complex passwords across devices and accounts without hard work. The answer comes in the form of a password manager.
How Does a Password Manager Work?
A password manager can both create complex passwords and manage them for you across logins. Equipped with one, you can constantly generate long, sophisticated passwords whenever you need them.
And since the password manager can remember them, you won’t have to remember them. Or worse—keep writing them down in files or post-it notes where they can be found. Instead, you can use a master password to keep accessing the randomly generated passwords.
This master password is not as exposed as the others—the password manager doesn’t store it. Even if someone somehow gains access to it, without your device, it will be useless. They won’t be able to use it to log into any of your online accounts.
Forgot the password of your Windows device? To reset password there are few ways to reset Windows 10 password
Web Browser Password Managers
Password managers today can be built into your web browser, making them easy to access and use. Unlike traditional password managers that come as separate software, they are quick and convenient. Because they are always there a click away while you surf the web, they can encourage better password practices.
Chrome is the world’s most popular web browser on both mobile and desktop and one of the safest. With a Chrome password manager, you can ensure that all your passwords, new and old, are complex. You can also save time having to manually enter passwords when logging in. The password manager will remember your password across sites.
That said, don’t forget to protect the password manager itself. Always update it to the latest version and enable two-factor authentication if available.
A Chrome password manager can be used across devices, not just on your computer. You can also use it on your work devices if better security protocols are not available.
Important: Set a strong master password for your password manager and don’t write it down or share it with anyone. Ideally, it should conform to the standard password security requirements. You also want to change it regularly for extra safety.
The Wrap Up
In the end, a password manager adds another important security layer to your digital life. It’s the no-hassle solution to creating and managing complex passwords across the web. If you don’t use a password manager already, maybe it’s time to consider adding one to your web browser.
Even if you already use biometric and two-factor authentication for some of your accounts, a password manager remains useful. Passwords will likely continue to be a necessary component of the web experience for years to come. So you might as well make them as secure as you can and manage them with ease.