Over and over again I hear the same thing: “I don’t do anything online that matters so my passwords don’t matter.” Or, “It doesn’t matter if I use public Wi-Fi because I don’t put anything in my email that matters.” Over the weekend the tech media publishing outlets were all aghast at the supposed hack of Mark Zuckerberg’s Pinterest and Twitter accounts. Before that is was Katy Perry, Keith Richards and Kylie Jenner. We think of Mark Zuckerberg and we think the epitome of tech savvy. Not only that, recently the news media had a field day revealing the amount of money spent on ensuring the security of Zuckerberg and his family. Thus, one would assume that Zuckerberg is very careful about his online account safety and security. However, we all have lapses and we all make mistakes.
Whether this attitude is borne of ignorance, laziness or arrogance, the result leads to the same Pandora’s box. It spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Zuckerberg’s account passwords were apparently hacked as a result of the LinkedIn breach. Not only did he not pay attention to the fact that those accounts had awful passwords Zuckerberg re-used that horrible password on multiple accounts and suffered the consequences. Ditto for Katie Perry, Keith Richards and Kylie Jenner.
Regardless of what you think our online accounts are subject to tampering by virtue of the fact that they are online. Everything you do online matters. Whether you think it is subject to world view or not.. Everything you put out there, whether it is an email or a social media post, provides information about you, your life, your family and friends that could be used to wreak havoc in your little corner of the world. Do not be lulled by a false sense of security that you are invisible and do not rise to the level of interest that Zuckerberg or a famous Hollywood actor might. Hackers are mischief-makers for anyone and everyone that allows easy access. Like burglars looking for open doors and windows, hackers go where there is little-to-no security. And NO, it is not convenient to create a password—a good and unique password, for every account you have. You will NEVER remember every password, nor should you if you are doing this thing correctly. This is precisely the reason to use an account password manager.
Account password managers are encrypted and protect the data you input. More than that, they offer the ability to organize all of your information and data, create new passwords, store credit card and other financial or personal information that you may need to access regardless of where you are. They are NOT seamless. They are NOT easy. They are NOT intuitive but they are worth every confounding moment your dedicated to the effort in the end. Do it now. My choice is 1Password. Other acceptable alternatives are LastPass or Dashlane. And of course, if you need help with that, The Tech Wizard is available!