Password protection tools
A strong, unique password is the simplest – and most effective – guard against online fraud.
A random password, with over 8 characters, that incorporates both upper and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers is virtually impossible to crack and can help prevent accounts like your email and online banking from being hacked.
The problem is – long passwords with zero significance to you can be just as hard to remember.
That’s where password protection tools come in. These useful apps generate and store passwords on your behalf in an encrypted vault. You need only remember one password – the one to the app – and then can use it to store a unique password for every online log in.
Why do I need a unique password?
Many people believe they don’t need to use a unique password for every online account they have, particularly for websites where they don’t store any personal data.
But it’s unfortunately on these websites that people often fall victim to fraud.
Online banks, social networks and big retailers all invest millions into preventing hackers from penetrating their systems.
But smaller websites on the other hand rarely have the same resources, making them more vulnerable.
And while hackers may not be able to steal anything of note from there, they can use these details to hack into other more important accounts, like your inbox, iTunes or Amazon account.
So if, for example, you had an online account with a small website, and your login details were your email address and a password you regularly use elsewhere, and these were stolen, a hacker could easily use these details to reset the password to your email account.
Once taken control of your emails, they could reset passwords for accounts where you do store credit card information, such as Amazon, and then use them to commit fraud.
It’s not uncommon as you may think – websites sometimes don’t even know they’ve had a data breach. You could fall victim to a scam without ever knowing how they managed to get your details.
The best password protectors
There are a handful of password protection tools that are inexpensive and easy to use. They include:
1Password is considered one of the best password managers on the market, and has an app, browser plug in and website to make use extremely easy and convenient. This is a paid tool, but if you’re managing passwords for sensitive online accounts or using it for work, it may well be worth the investment.
Dashlane is another good password manager tool, and has a free plan where you can manage up to 50 online logins.
LastPass is one of the most straightforward options on the market and has both a free and inexpensive paid plan to choose from. Like 1Password, you can also set it to autofill your passwords, making it even easier to use.
Would you consider using a password protection tool?
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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