If you could have either convenience or security, which would you choose? For most people, it is convenience. As Americans, we enjoy high-speed internet in every populated area, which has moved many aspects of lives, including banking, shopping and entertainment, to applications delivered through cloud services.
The internet has made our lives very convenient because we can work remotely, transact business, communicate and shop from any populated location on the planet. Of course, all these websites, services and networks require a username and password, so we choose something convenient and easy for us to remember.
Unfortunately, your convenience is a hacker’s dream come true. Your logon credentials are a combination of a username and password. Since your username is unique, the most common username is a person’s email address or a combination of first and last name with numbers. None of these usernames are complicated. In order to make your life easy, you use the same password for all your sites. However, what is easy for you is also easy for hackers. We live in a world where state actors and global criminal organizations are constantly seeking to penetrate every network in the world. The number of network addresses worldwide is a known and fixed quantity, and each firewall has exactly 65,535 ports. Some of the largest organizations with billions in security budgets have already been hacked, including Equifax, Yahoo, LinkedIn and, in 2017, the National Security Agency. The reality is all computing infrastructure will ultimately be compromised.
When a site is hacked, your convenient logon credentials are sold on the dark web worldwide. Your credentials are then loaded into a large, distributed database spanning continents. and robots located on millions of malware-infected computers will attempt to use your credentials to unlock every website or IP address in the world; this is the reality of the digital economy. However, using a password manager allows you to have unique and complicated logon credentials while providing convenience, regardless of the device or operating system you are using.
LastPass.com is a tool you can use personally, with family members or with teams to ensure logon credentials for every website, network access or service are unique and complex. The tool works in every browser, including Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Opera and Firefox, and on all Apple and Android devices. It allows you to have one location to store every logon to every service. You are probably thinking, “If they get hacked, then all my data will still be at risk.” LastPass and other cloud password managers require you to have a master password to access the service on any device or browser. Your logon information is used as one-half of the encryption key to secure the database, ensuring nobody can read the data if the LastPass infrastructure is compromised.
LastPass supports two-factor authentication, further ensuring only you have access to your logon info. The tool has the ability to auto-login to sites and can fill forms with addresses, credit cards or other information. The tool can also store notes. I use it to store PDF copies of my driver’s license, passport info and pictures for every family member, TSA Known Traveler Number, insurance ID cards, health care cards and even the PIN numbers used to freeze my credit on all three bureaus. LastPass has a password generator, allowing you to create the longest, most complex passwords and save them so you never have to remember them. For instance, my Amazon.com logon is 27 characters long, and I have it configured to auto-change this password every month. LastPass has plans ranging from free to $4 per month for a family of six. Business plans range from $4-$6 per user per month. Protect yourself and keep your convenience by substituting one Starbucks drink per month with a password manager like LastPass to begin securing your digital credentials today.
For more information, visit www.omnipotech.com or call (281) 768-4308.