August 16, 2010

Change Your Passwords

A woman in Britain has been fined after reading her previous employer’s email after they failed to change the passwords to the accounts she once had access to for work purposes.
These days, we must all keep track of our online passwords for work and personal use of everything from email to Facebook. Many people use the same passwords for all of their accounts, and it’s often something that’s easy to remember. In some cases, users will go months (or years) without changing their passwords. There are many excellent reasons to change your password. If your computer is infected with viruses or spyware, they be monitoring your online activity. After the computer has been cleaned, it’s a good idea to change your passwords.
Some employees  use sticky notes or saved files on the computer to remind them of passwords. The problem with that is they are easy to lose, and allow any nosey person walking by to read your passwords. If you must write down your passwords, make sure to put that documentation somewhere out of sight, or in a place no one would think to look.
The best way to manage passwords nowadays is through services like LastPass, which is free and installs a small add-on to your internet browser that allows a one-click login to your secure password vault. When you open your internet browser, you will be prompted for the master password, and for each website you want to log into, LastPass will automatically fill in the information for you, and even log you in automatically if you want it to. Very handy, and very secure.
The coolest part about it is you can use the same LastPass login and master password on multiple computers, since the information is stored on their secure servers and not stored locally on the computers. LastPass even includes a strong password generator, so you don’t have to struggle to think of any.
There are other programs that work in a similar fashion, but they store the information locally on the computer, so if the computer crashes and it’s not backed up, you lose all of your passwords.
Please change your passwords on a monthly basis to reduce risk of having accounts compromised.

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