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Your Password Has Probably Been Stolen

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Mine has (for my personal email).  So has everyone else’s here at the office.  How do we know?  You can check it out at a website:  Have I been Pwned.  Enter your email address there and you will be find out how many times passwords related to your email have been compromised.  (Happily, none of our work emails have been.)

At the same website, under passwords, you can also check to see if your password has been previously exposed – so you can check to see which passwords still work or download a file listing all of the exposed passwords. 

 

So, now what? 

 

There’s lots of advice that goes around, change passwords often, make them really long, use special characters.  It seems from this site the key is to never reuse a password.  That way, hackers won’t be successful more than once. 

 

There are two ways to do this: 

 

Have a general password and add a simple unique identifier/formula to relate it to that particular website.For example, have the general part:P@ssword, and complete it with something unique like the number which corresponds to the first letter of the website you’re visiting.Ex.Amazon starts with a, which is the 01 letter of the alphabet.So when you login on Amazon, your password would be P@ssword01.

 

Use a password manager.You may already use the one on your device, but it probably does not sync to all of your devices if you mix between Apple and Google for example.Online versions like Dashlane, 1Password, or LastPass will sync to all your devices.They offer many other features to help you stay safe as well, which makes this the better option.

 

I’m off to manage my passwords.  Stay safe!