These days, everything is online. And I mean EVERYTHING. We work online, we pay our bills online and we even buy our groceries online.

Within each of these online accounts, it’s likely that there is a bunch of important (and private) information—from credit card numbers to personal and confidential data.

What’s the one element of security that stands between a hacker with bad intentions and all of that private information? Your password. So, that password better be good. And, chances are, it’s probably not.

A common mistake

We’ve all done it—used the same username and password for more than one account. After all, with so many online accounts to keep track of, it can be hard to develop unique login credentials that we’ll be able to remember later on.

But that method isn’t very safe. Think about it this way… say a hacker breaks into your free movie review account. Not a big deal, right? Well, what if the password to that movie review account is the same as the password you use to manage your personal checking account online? Suddenly the situation is a much bigger risk.

How to solve the problem

How can you protect all of your online accounts, while also keeping them accessible for approved users (like yourself)? Simple. Create passwords that even you won’t remember.

Yes, you heard that right. Create passwords that you won’t remember.

You might be wondering how to do that. It’s actually easier than you might think. There are a number of tools out there that help create complex passwords and store them in a secure and easy-to-use way. 

We use 1Password. Here’s how it works…

1Password in action

Here at Forge3, we manage thousands of our clients’ website and digital marketing accounts on a daily basis. So, it’s very important that we keep account credentials 100% safe and secure. But, as we switch between numerous accounts throughout the day, it’s also very important to maintain easy and simple access.

To accomplish these goals, we utilize 1Password—a secure tool designed to protect and encrypt account credentials, create complex passwords and ease the login process.

If you remember your passwords, you’re doing it wrong - 3It keeps our passwords secure

1Password utilizes a three-pronged approach to securing the client data that we keep stored within the system:

  • a single master passcode provides easy access to the rest of the data within a 1Password vault
  • a secret key is generated to further confirm a users identity (even the 1Password team can’t access or reset this one)
  • a secure remote password encrypts all data as it travels over the network

Additionally, before our team pulls data from our 1Password vault, the information is automatically encrypted. That means that even if it does get intercepted, the data can’t be used to access the online account.

If you remember your passwords, you’re doing it wrong - 1For all of those techies out there who want more information, here’s a white paper developed by 1Password that explains their security design in great detail.

It creates complex passwords

On a daily basis, our team sets up new accounts for ourselves or on behalf of clients—from social media accounts to email marketing subscriptions. Each and every one of these accounts requires a password. And, like I mentioned earlier, it’s a bad idea to use the same password over and over again.

Instead, our team uses the password generator tool within 1Password to create very complex passwords that even we don’t remember. Then, 1Password saves the data securely within our vault for easy access later.

It keeps account information easily-accessible

Because we have a large number of clients, we are continuously switching between accounts throughout each and every day. 1Password makes this easy by integrating with our web browser. It’s smart enough to recognize when we’ve landed on a login page, and allows us to choose the desired account credentials from a simple dropdown menu within the browser.

If you remember your passwords, you’re doing it wrong - 2Another awesome feature… because our team works remotely most of the time, we need to have easy access to all of the account credentials within our vault from many different types of devices. With 1Password’s mobile app, we can easily access account passwords from our phones and tablets, too.

The takeaway

Online accounts and recurring subscription services have made our lives a whole lot easier over the past few years, but it’s important to remember that there are risks involved with our actions online.

We should all take steps to make our time online a little safer. From avoiding websites that are not equipped with SSL security to utilizing low-cost tools like 1Password, it’s easier than you might think.

Author Jeff Teschke

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