Be honest; we have all found ourselves, at one point or another, forgetting our passwords. Or worse, we’ve had our email or social media accounts hacked. Everyone knows someone who has had an account security issue if they have not themselves. It may seem trivial and a slight burden; suddenly, random posts are being made by a friend on Facebook, someone lets them know, they reset their password, problem solved. Right?

The Danger of Repeated Passwords

How many of you use the same password for just about everything? Say someone figures out your Facebook password, which is also your email password and your online banking password. This person now had immediate access to your personal information. They can steal your money. They can learn about your life. It happened to my Netflix account earlier this year. I still had access and could watch movies, but there was an unrecognized name on the account. When I tried to log in to give them the boot, I couldn’t log in – they had changed my password. In about 10 minutes, it was resolved. But what if it were my Amazon Prime account, and they placed several orders or took my credit card information instead?

How Strong Is Your Password?

Do you think you have a strong password? Find out how long it would take a computer to figure out your password using this free online tool. The password I used to use back in the day would have taken 41 minutes. The one I use today would take 3,000 years to crack. It’s obviously way easier to use the same password for everything. You’ll never forget or get locked out of your accounts, saving you hours of time in some cases. While a standard password is convenient, it will also leave you prey to hacking. Once a hacker cracks the code, the game is over. All of your accounts are compromised. Another option is Google’s password generator. You know, all those letters and numbers that may look like “CzzYUNmber1244FFqP.” That is definitely a strong password, but in what world will you ever remember that? That’s where a good password manager tool comes into play.

Password Manager

Password managers simplify the entire experience for you. You let the software generate and store the passwords, and all you have to do is remember one password (that you set) to log into the software. Dashlane is one good option. After their free trial, you can purchase their 5-year plan for $149 to use on multiple devices, like your laptop and smartphone (there’s an app for that!). They have a free version that allows you to store passwords on one device. That may do it for you, but it won’t be as effective if you are someone who uses a laptop, smartphone, tablet, and desktop. Consider the reality of your situation before deciding what route to take.

How does Dashlane work?

Once a user logs into Dashlane, they can see all of their passwords and any additional information they choose to store (account IDs, security question answers, etc.). It’s a breeze to use, and most browsers have a Dashlane add-on that will automatically log you into a website if it recognizes the site/login area. The coolest part? Once a user sets up all of their passwords, Dashlane will let them know which ones are weak and need to be changed. All you have to do was review the list and say, “yes, change these passwords,” and the software will change it for you. Dashlane can edit 10-15 passwords to different websites, making them complex enough to be strong. And you don’t have to remember a single one. If you do come across a site that Dashlane isn’t logging into (this issue is more likely on a mobile phone than a laptop), all you have to do is hit the Dashlane app, copy the password, and paste it in. It’s an extra step, but once you’re logged into most of your apps, the phone keeps you logged in. Dashlane combined with a fingerprint or Face ID unlock feature on a phone leaves you pretty protected!

Try Dashlane for Free

Dashlane is free for a single device, so what do you have to lose? You could lose a lot if you don’t tighten your password situation up a bit! We can’t be too safe with our data anymore. Hackers can access your computer and do a myriad of things, leaving you in potential legal trouble. Get a password manager to make your accounts more difficult for someone to access. And spend the $10/month on identity theft protection, so you have peace of mind knowing your information is being monitored 24/7. Check out our article on identity theft protection here.
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