There are still a couple of weeks to go, but in the realm of computing technology, I already know what this year’s biggest impact has been on my personal computing security, cyber security, and my peace of mind.
I finally adopted password security by using a password manager. I must confess, I’m a testimony to the old saying, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.” After forty-plus years of email and web browsing since the mid-90s, I was still using sticky notes. I procrastinated way too long, knowing full well that I should use a password manager, but only admitting it to myself. I really have tried before — okay, sort of tried. I’d download one of several popular apps to my phone, launch it a few times, and then talk myself out of going any further because I was too lazy to commit the time to re-enter all my passwords. What gave me the convincing kick I needed was the “relatively” harmless Skype hack I endured, which I talk about here in a previous blog post.
All things considered, I got off pretty easy. All it cost me was apologizing to 40 or so contacts for the link I (or should I say my hacker) sent them using a Skype chat message. It could’ve been much worse, like what happened to the Democratic National Committee chairperson’s emails kind of worse.
Once I finally made the decision to download and configure my password manager, it was actually a lot less painful than I imagined. I chose Lastpass (although there are several good products on the market). And after a couple of days’ use, I realized that securing my passwords through the manager would save me time and effort because it had access to all my passwords whether I was using my smartphone, my laptop, or my desktop.
All in all, my password manager is a pretty good investment for $US12 per year, and it covers up to five family members. So, if you haven’t taken the password manager plunge and are looking for holiday gift ideas, why not give the gift of password security?