Tech Tuesday: Managing Your Passwords

According to research done this year by NordPass, an average person has between 70 and 80 passwords. That’s far too many for most people to remember, so a lot of people reuse the same passwords (or slight variations thereof) for multiple websites. Unfortunately, this often leads to identity theft, as it only requires one website to be compromised to provide access to all your other accounts where the same password is used.

A recent example of the dangers of reusing passwords made the news in mid-August, when the Canada Revenue Agency reported that it had been hit by two cyberattacks that compromised thousands of accounts. The thieves used a type of attack known as “credential stuffing”, in which they used passwords and usernames collected from previous hacks of other accounts to gain access to people’s CRA accounts.

To keep your accounts secure, it’s recommended that you create a strong and unique password for each one. This article offers some useful tips for creating strong passwords. However, the downside of using multiple strong passwords is that they’re often difficult to remember. This is why password managers can be extremely useful.

Password managers store all your passwords for you and help you generate strong random passwords for each of your accounts. The only password you’ll need to remember is the master password to the password manager.

So why not just use your browser to save all your passwords? You could, and it’s certainly better than reusing weak passwords. However, dedicated password managers are generally more secure and offer additional features, such as letting you know when a service you use has been hacked, and informing you about weak and reused passwords.

Here are some articles from well-known technology websites that compare the best password managers to use in 2020:

Tom’s Guide: The best password managers in 2020
PC Magazine: The Best Password Managers for 2020
Wired: The Best Password Managers to Secure Your Digital Life
The Wirecutter: The Best Password Managers

Whether you choose a paid password manager or one of the recommended free ones, they all make managing multiple strong passwords safer and more convenient than most other options.

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