How to Safely Store Your Passwords

Protect your identity with password management.

We are constantly asked: what is the safest way to store login information? Obviously, the safest measure you can take is to not “store” them anywhere. That’s impossible though considering you have an account, with a username and password, for every thing. Here are some tips on how to keep your account login information secure.

It Only Takes One Password

When we talk about passwords, it is incredibly important to mention that you should not use the same password for all your accounts. We see this all too often. This leaves you incredibly vulnerable to criminals. At minimum, your email password should be different from your financial institutions.

Keep Them In a Steel, Fireproof Lockbox

Ok, that’s extreme. The second best place to store them is in a password management tool, such as LastPass. LastPass and other tools allow you to store all account usernames and passwords in a single location. That way you can create extremely difficult and unique passwords for each of your accounts without worrying about forgetting them. The only thing you need to remember is your Master Password, or the password for all of the passwords. What is considered a “Master Password”?

Not a Commonly-Used Password

You know and I know that the name of your first born with the year of their birth is not very secure. Even an amateur criminal could find out your son’s name (Facebook) and the year he was born (birth announcement in the newspaper). Instead, use a unique theme, that only you would make sense of – a riddle inside of a riddle. For example, the street name of your best friend’s house in grade school with the year you went to your first concert. And only use that for one password. Also, a “strong” password does not contain dictionary words and should utilize combinations of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. The longer and more complex the password, the less likely it can be compromised. Here are some passwords you should NOT use.

Don’t Want to Pay for a Password Tool?

There is an alternative solution if you are wary of password apps. You can store your passwords in an Excel spreadsheet with an encrypted password. The last part of that sentence is the most important step. You must have an encrypted password. The last part of that sentence is the most important step. You must have an encrypted password to protect your information. Here are steps to do just that.

Microsoft Office 2007 and newer uses a secure encryption algorithm which has yet to be cracked (as of June 7th, 2017). Each newer iteration of Office (2010, 2013) has further increased the strength of the encryption by increasing the complexity or employing newer and stronger hash algorithms. However, Microsoft does not guarantee this being 100% secure, and if you lose your password there is no way to recover the password or the information.


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