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Stupid Passwords Everywhere

Another one was originally on The Canadian Personal Finance site under Passwords Everywhere.

Do you have a magic list of passwords for your various online profiles? Do you have a system for changing your passwords often? Do you have the same password for all of your online profiles?

If you answered Yes to the last question, allow me to say, “DON’T DO THAT!”, for the love of MyDoom, if any of the many sinister nasty folks on the Interweb get into one of your accounts, suddenly they are into all of them. I have discussed Financial On Line Security before, triggered by another interesting discussion with Mrs. C8j.

Weak passwords, AKA Space Balls the Password! That is the combination on my luggage!!!

There is a long list of different online financial profiles with user ids and passwords. Still, Mrs. C8j pointed out that she should have access to this information in an emergency. I guess a solution will be to print out this information and put it in a safe deposit box or somewhere safe for her.

This is a terrible solution because:

  • You should not have a file with this information on a computer anywhere (unless you have it under some heavy encryption, but even then, that may not be that safe).
  • Printing it just means it will be even less safe (paper is much easier to swipe).
  • Printing the information means she has a snapshot at that moment. However, when I change those passwords, the list is suddenly useless.

Stupid Passwords on Phones?

Other ideas like putting it on your cell phone are bad, because the phone is easily stolen, and putting it “in the cloud”, makes it easier to find.

What is the best way to keep this information secure while being able to share it (securely) for the “what if” scenario? Always check passwords for complexity and see if they have been stolen yet.

Create passwords with a high level of complexity but still, that is reasonably easy to remember.

Password rules are also getting crazy now too.

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