Are you still using words from a dictionary, numbers in a sequence, or a pattern of letters as your password? If not, good, that’s step one. Now, how many times have you re-used your passwords over and over online? Even if you have a group of super-awesome passwords that you used again and again, eventually they will get hacked on some random site that you joined just to see a few cat pictures.
Fact is, there are a ton of sites out there whose number one priority isn’t security. Start-up companies are quick to get their products online, but push off securing their customers’ data as the next objective. Even established companies like Adobe, Yahoo, and Forbes have all been hacked recently with usernames and passwords spilling out online for the world to see. If you haven’t taken steps to protect yourself, you should start thinking about it now.
Not only do we need to have complex passwords to ensure our online safety, we need to create and use new ones for every site we join. Seems like a lot of work, right? I know my memory isn’t that good. Don’t worry, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s called Dashlane. Dashlane is a password manager that generates a strong, complex password for you each time you sign up on a new site. Forget spending time thinking of a good password that relates to the site you’re on, let Dashlane do that for you. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, it also syncs to the cloud so you can get access to those passwords at home, work, or on your phone.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa…slow down now, isn’t cloud syncing a bit insecure?” I thought the same thing when I first heard about it. Let me break down their process for you and you can decide. First, they use AES-256 encryption to encrypt all the data you enter into Dashlane. Why is that important to know? AES-256 remains uncracked to this day and is regarded as the strongest encryption algorithm there is. Furthermore, the key to decrypt this data is derived only from your master password. Dashlane does not store this key anywhere, not on your device, your PC, or their servers. This key is derived from your master password and then thrown away, and it prompts you the next time it is needed. For more information on their security measures, including some optional settings for the paranoid among us, check out their page on security.
Using a password manager like Dashlane helps me breathe a little easier, I’m not kidding. If your password gets stolen, it’s not a big deal anymore. You know it was only used on one site – the one that got hacked. This means that the hacker isn’t tweeting rude obscenities, ruining Grandma’s evening on Facebook, or siphoning all your money from your bank account. At least not all at the same time. All you need to do is log into that one site, have Dashlane generate you a new password, and off you go.