Let us guess: you have profiles on Facebook, twitter, MySpace, Foursquare, Reddit, Digg, Yelp, and the list goes on. You have separate email addresses for work, friends, spam, and some you can’t even remember. You’ve created countless accounts all across the web to track your online shopping orders, comment on blog posts, enter contests, share photos, and take quizzes.
You’ve reached a point where you can’t remember all of the sites on which you’re registered, let alone your password, so you’ve started using the same password (or a slight variation of it) on every site you visit. You’re hoping that you won’t fall victim to identity theft, or that spammers won’t figure out your go-to password.
If this sounds like you, we have good news and bad news for you.
First the bad: each year, more than 15 million Americans fall prey to identity theft and fraud because of online security breaches. Maybe you’ve avoided it up until now, but odds are you won’t be so lucky in the future.
Now the good: Abine’s PrivacySuite, a free browser-add on that runs in the background while you’re online, keeps track of all of your online accounts and passwords. It even generates random, encrypted passwords to make sure your accounts stay safe.
People tend to make a few common mistakes regarding password security.
First, we don’t create sufficiently safe passwords. The best passwords are easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. Unfortunately, however, many of us worry more about remembering our passwords instead of making them secure.
What makes a secure password?
A combination of length, content, and how often you change it. In general, longer passwords with a wider variety of capitalization, letters, numbers, and symbols are the most secure, and the more often you change them, the better. The harder it is for others to guess, the safer it is. A few examples of notoriously bad passwords:
- your first or last name
Our second problem: we reuse our passwords everywhere.
A 2003 survey found that 65% of us use the same password for different applications or services. We’re only human; we can’t keep hundreds of different username and password combinations in our heads at all times. But in our effort to try to keep things simple, we expose ourselves to a great deal of risk. Think about it: a spammer who discovers your password on, say, Facebook, can then access all the other sites where you use it: PayPal, your online banking site, your phone service, your email, and everywhere else.
PrivacySuite takes care of both password security and complicated account management.
If you already use your browser to remember existing passwords and automatically fill in forms, PrivacySuite can import all of those passwords into one place. The next time you want to visit Facebook, for example, PrivacySuite can automatically fill your username and password and log you in, all in one click. You can also start fresh and have PrivacySuite start remembering your logins when you begin using it. With PrivacySuite, you’ll never have to memorize another username or password again.
What about the passwords you’ve been constantly reusing? PrivacySuite lists all of your accounts and rates the strength of the passwords you use on them. A green circle next to your password means that it’s strong: it’s unique, difficult to crack, and you don’t use it often. Yellow means that you’ve reused it a few times, and red means that you reuse it often. With a quick glance, you’ll be able to see how all your passwords rank in terms of security.
And if your passwords aren’t as strong as you’d like, you can use PrivacySuite to generate secure ones as you browse. Just right click in the password box, click “fill password,” and PrivacySuite creates an 8-character random password using mixed case and numbers and letters. Best of all, PrivacySuite then saves the password you just made so you’ll never have to keep track of it.
PrivacySuite securely organizes your online accounts and stores your passwords in an encrypted form on your computer, keeping them safe from scammers, hackers, and advertisers. No other person or company can access your information, not even our servers.
If you want more control, organization, and security in your online life, try PrivacySuite today.
A bit about us: Abine’s Privacy Suite and DeleteMe services help you stay private when you surf online, stay private when you enter your personal info into forms, and reclaim your privacy if you have info or accounts online you’d like removed. Many of these services are free or reasonably priced, and come directly from us at Abine, The Online Privacy Company.