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Pretty much my whole life is spent on the computer or some device in one way or another. Some people may be going “what the heck – that’s not okay” and sometimes I do get online overload but anymore, so many jobs require being computer savvy…I just happen to have two of those jobs which means alot of hours logged behind the screen.
PC’s, laptops, smartphones, tablets like my Samsung Galaxy Tab, you name it I have it and I use it. In the office I’m on about 20 different programs on any given day. At home there’s my website of course and every social media platform out there, influencer networks, paying bills, and the list goes on and on. If you think about it could you even count all of the different sites, programs, or systems that you have to log in to in a weeks time? I know for me it’s too many to count. And what does everyone of those sites or devices require? That’s right a password.
I know my password habits are bad. Same password with slight variations for everything so I can remember what they are. Not a good idea but I’m also not dedicated enough to password security to have different ones or change them as often as I should. Horrible right? Great news for us lazy ones though, U.S. Cellular can help people improve their password habits with apps for smartphones and tablets and other simple tricks that can improve bad password habits.
If you too have bad password habits, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone! According to a Harris Interactive survey, more than half of Americans realize they need to change their password habits. Of course you can probably guess the top issues that need attention – reusing passwords and creating weak passwords, such as your dog’s name, 12345 or password123. When it comes to protecting valuable information, those passwords share common patterns, creating vulnerability across the various accounts we all use every day. If one account gets hacked, all accounts sharing the same password and email are at much greater risk.
How apps can help manage and improve passwords.
With many accounts prompting and requiring stronger passwords, including a combination of letters, capitalization, numbers and characters, password management apps can really help. Features such as auto-creation of complex passwords, auto-fill of forms and encryption of information for safety also add an element of convenience. The complex passwords created can be easily stored and used, and often shared across platforms, including home computers, work computers and smart devices, like the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Edge and iPads.
Password Management Apps
Keeper: As the number one most downloaded password management app, Keeper provides users with the ability to manage passwords across various accounts. Keeper’s free version provides local password storage and use on one device. A $29.99 per year subscription is required to access many of its quality features. Those include unlimited password storage, secure online storage for photos, videos and documents, and access across multiple devices, along with the ability to share the information with other users. Those with a subscription can also set up fingerprint login for quick and secure access to their account.
Dashlane: Dashlane is another great option. It’s, rated among the top password manager apps and is listed as Editor’s Pick in the Google Play Store. In addition to creating complex passwords for accounts, Dashlane acts as a digital wallet to make secure on-the-go payments and provides security breach alerts for usernames and passwords. Offered for $39.99 per year, the premium subscription allows syncing across devices, securing Cloud backup and accessing information via the web.
LastPass: This trusted app may be my favorite – it does a lot and it’s cost effective. It provides users with a secure vault and organization of accounts for user preference. Its features also allow for easy transitions between accounts on the same site. Like many other password management apps, LastPass can also keep track of credit card information, audit account passwords, record secure audio notes and more. Premium features for $12 a year include a shared family folder, unlimited device sync, multi-factor authentication and access to accounts from any device or computer.
Additional steps you can take to further enhance the security of password protected information
A recent U.S. Cellular survey indicates that 65 percent of smartphone users always remember to take their device with them when they leave the house – I’m definitely one of those people. With that mobility and U.S. Cellular’s robust network with nationwide coverage, people have embraced their smartphones for shopping online, managing bank accounts, catching up on news and emailing, all while on the go. Some additional steps to keep your accounts safe are simple, such as refraining from connecting in locations offering free WiFi. While it may be tempting to utilize the free WiFi, the connection may not be secure, which can impact your account security if accessed while connected.
Another easy step is one of the most obvious – use built in features such as the screen lock on your device. This feature comes standard on most devices any more and requires a pattern, fingerprint identification or character password to be entered before anything on the device can be accessed. Safety first!
What precautions do you take or what do you need to be better at when it comes to password protection? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!