I do everything online. I shop, bank, share photos, communicate, watch video, listen to radio, read, book travel. I do almost all these things at websites that require me to log in with a username and password. So guess what happens if I use the same username and password for all these sites? Someone who steals that information would be able to access EVERYTHING!
I’ve talked about online security in the past, but it’s becoming even more important with every hacker case we see. Some people will choose to keep their lives offline to avoid any potential problems. But that would be like never flying again for fear of another terrorist attack. Instead, take your shoes off and go through the body scanning machine. It might be a hassle but it’s the price we pay for being able to see the world. Increasing your security online will be a similar hassle and take some time, but it’s worth it!
I recently came to the realization that I needed to increase my online security. Sure I had a couple complicated passwords with numbers and upper and lower case letters, but that’s not enough. I reused those passwords so many times, if someone hacked them I’d be in major trouble. So where did I start? I downloaded Dashlane, a free online password manager ranked by the Wall Street Journal as the best available.
I had tried Dashlane and some other password managers before but it seemed like such a pain to get set up I gave up on them way too soon. This time I dove in completely. I gave up all control of my passwords. I highly recommend you do the same.
Once you download Dashlane and the browser extension, it will scan your computer and assess your security. Mine found logins for over 150 websites stored in my web browser! My security score was just 25%, dangerously low. The dashboard gives you suggestions for which passwords to change first - bank accounts, credit cards, e-mail, etc. So I went to work clicking on the links provided by Dashlane to change those passwords.
The software makes all this fairly easy, but it is time consuming. You have to go to each website and find the “change password” section of the site. Once there, if you click in the box to type a “new password” and you have the dashlane extension working properly, then you should get an option to “generate a strong password”. Dashlane will generate a password for you, then save it in your master vault. Next time you try to log in to this site it will remember the password and login automatically. All you need to remember is ONE master password for Dashlane!
Sounds great, what’s the catch? Well as I said it takes a while to change all those passwords. And if you want access to all your passwords on all your devices, you need to buy Dashlane’s “premium” version for $30 a year (which I did and find it to be worth every penny). I did have a few cases where it didn’t remember the password right the first time and I had to go and reset the password again. It can also be a bit confusing when you have logged in to a site with multiple user names/password combos.
Despite the drawbacks, once you get used to it, you’ll be glad you made the change. Do I feel a little bit uneasy sometimes when I realize I don’t know ANY of my passwords anymore? Do I get frustrated sometimes when I need to enter my password on my phone or on another computer and have to look it up? Of course! But I also get frustrated when I have to stand in a long security line and take off my shoes and be x-rayed, but that’s not keeping me from going on vacation! So download a password manager, change your passwords and feel more secure the next time you buy a plane ticket online.
The views expressed represent the opinions of L.K. Benson & Company and are subject to change. These views are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendation, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. The information provided is of a general nature and should not be construed as investment advice or to provide any investment, tax, financial or legal advice or service to any person. Please see Additional Disclosures more information.