The best advice for keeping your passwords safe used to be strong password creation; a random string of letters, numbers, and symbols, written down on paper for safe keeping. But as more of our daily life is online, it's becoming harder to keep track of everything. Not to mention the downsides of physically writing down passwords, like trying to access your account while you're using a different device or a smudged letter and water stain on your aging piece of paper. Lately, there's always something on the news about another big box store getting hacked, including ones that store our personal information. On average, 30,000 websites and services are hacked every day, and in 2016 alone there were more than 15 million identities stolen. Big names like Yahoo and Uber had massive security breaches in 2016, and then Equifax last year. It was when discussing the Equifax hack that my friend said I should use Dashlane, a free app that securely stores and manages your passwords.
There's no shortage of information out there on how to improve your password. However, the truth is that even the best advice is much less useful when it becomes the new normal and therefore provides hackers a blueprint for guessing your password. According to Forbes, 1.4 billion passwords have been hacked and leaked on the Dark Web and there are now frighteningly exhaustive "password dictionaries" that help cyber criminals break into your accounts easier than ever before. And don't just picture a hooded figure typing away on a keyboard - there are hundreds of ever-evolving programs out there working to test out millions of password combinations in mere minutes.
But there is good news: there's a way to work around this problem. A password can (and should) be completely random. Even with the best brute force program, it can take a decade to crack a truly random eleven-character password. The bad news? It would look something like this: 2@(tA#dFQ*s. Let's say your memory is better than mine, and you're able to remember this monstrosity. That's great, but you would need to use a completely different one for every single website. If I had to guess, I'd say there are more than a dozen different accounts I use weekly, and that doesn't include all the random accounts I've accumulated over the years. There's no way I'd be able to keep track of all of those randomized passwords. On top of that, even if you feel that your passwords are secure, the websites you're using are far from it.
To be protected online you would need a different randomly generated password for each website that should be entered manually each time. Impossible, right? Right. No one can do it on their own, which is why I chose Dashlane, a password manager that does it all for me. Dashlane is a program that generates unique passwords for each site and saves them across multiple devices in real time. What's more, it auto fills your login information, payment options, and frequently used addresses. Worried this sounds too convenient and even dangerous? Not with Dashlane. The best thing about Dashlane is that they use "Zero Knowledge Architecture" meaning that even if Dashlane is hacked, it would be like breaking into a bank with no access to the vaults inside. Now you're secure, but what happens if a website like Yahoo is breached again? Dashlane will send you a notification with the option of a two-click password change so you won't have to pay for someone else's mistake. You're protected from every angle.
Dashlane has changed the way I look at online security, and has made me more aware of the importance of a password manager. These perks are just scratching the surface of the long list of services Dashlane provides, and with 8 million trusted users worldwide, they're doing something right. Give them a try for free today and stop worrying about your security.