This may be a little bit of a different topic for this blog, but it’s something everyone should be taking very seriously: How secure are your financial accounts?
Are you using the same username and password for multiple accounts? Is it the same username and password you use for everything online? If this is the case, you’re in a very perilous situation that needs to be addressed immediately.
Keeping any online account secure is critical, and it’s especially true of our financial accounts. We do not want to be reusing passwords, or using passwords that are easy to figure out. Things like 123456, or MyFavoritePassword! are terrible passwords. And if you’ve used the same password for a while, it’s time to get a new one.
How do you do this? Well, like anything, there are good ways and bad ways to go about it. A bad way would be to write your password down on a piece of paper you keep next to your computer. That would be easy to lose, and very insecure. Not to mention a pain, requiring you to type the password in manually each time you sign in.
A good way is with a password manager. This is what I use. If you’re not familiar, there are many good options out there. They’re services that store your passwords for you, fill the password in on the website automatically, and generally keep track of things in a highly secure way. Services like Bitwarden, LastPass, and 1Password are popular options.
All of these services have password generators, too. This lets you have a password of nearly any length you want, and they’re random combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols. The goal is to create passwords that are very difficult if not impossible to guess. They might generate something like: t&Ban!p6ayP&#dx6U87B.
No one is going to guess that, and no one is likely to remember that. That’s what the password manager is for. It can create a unique random password for each one of your accounts, and then keep track of them all. A unique password for each site is the best way to prevent disaster, and a password manager is the best way to create and remember those passwords.
If you’re not using one already, go and check them out today.