Man, I am so tired of getting spammed by accounts with either easy-to-crack passwords or ones that are more or less dead for the person concerned and thus easy hacker targets. There are incidents nearly every month where I get bogus mail from folks that were hacked. Might I suggest that folks get a little more paranoid about security on their passwords? It is not a mute point. Look at the facts: Sony’s PS3 database was hacked recently, Nintendo last week, and worst of all Citibank was hacked SEVEN LAYERS DEEP. Of course, none of these are directly due to weak passwords but they do illustrate that hackers are getting more and more aggressive. Organized crime is involved. So, what I do, and I don’t claim it is 100% failsafe but it is better than nothing – is KeePass. This shareware app runs on Windows and OS X and has several iPhone versions (the best being MyKeePass). It allows you to store all your passwords in a strongly encrypted database and via DropBox or any other file exchange method you can dream of, to keep all your devices up-to-date on passwords. A few things:
- I use the expiry date and try to change the major passwords at LEAST every 60 days.
- I use the random generator to create strong 16-character passwords as strong as the target application will allow.
- I don’t use alternatives to KeePass that store the passwords on the cloud so that I control the security myself
- Another tip: CLOSE YOUR UNUSED ACCOUNTS. If you are no longer using that old Yahoo! or HoTMaiL account, it is a major target for hackers. Close it out!
So before you go out on the internet again, be careful out there!