With all of the online accounts we all have, it’s easy to get lazy and start using the same password for multiple websites, services, and accounts, for fear of forgetting an important password. However, this can compromise your private information.
We have published many articles about generating secure passwords, storing your passwords securely, resetting your password in your operating system, and other useful information about managing your passwords and other private information. Here is a collection of useful tips about passwords to help you keep your information and accounts secure.
There are many ways out there to securely store your passwords, including online and offline solutions, such as LastPass and KeePass. You can also have your browser store passwords for you. The following articles discuss using LastPass, KeePass, and browsers to store passwords, and how secure it actually is to store your passwords in your browser.
- The How-To Geek Guide to Getting Started with LastPass
- Keep Those Hard to Remember Card Numbers Available and Secure with LastPass
- Use a Free, Portable Tool to View your Passwords from Your LastPass Account Offline
- Install the LastPass Extension in Opera Browser
- How To Import Your Saved Browser Passwords Into KeePass
- Securely Store Your Passwords with KeePass
- How Secure are Your Saved Chrome Browser Passwords?
- How Secure Are Your Saved Internet Explorer Passwords?
- How To Force Your Browser to Remember Passwords
Now that you know of some good quality tools for storing your passwords, it’s time to generate some very secure password to store in your chosen tool, for use with all your important websites and accounts. The following articles discuss ways to generate secure passwords. You can also use LastPass and KeePass to generate secure passwords, as discussed in some of the articles listed above.
NOTE: We have some more valuable links to web pages where you can generate very secure passwords at the end of this article.
- Use WolframAlpha As a Secure Password Generator
- 10 Ways to Generate a Random Password from the Command Line
Resetting and Finding Passwords in Windows
Most of us have forgotten our Windows password, at one time or another. Luckily, there are several easy ways to reset or change your Windows password. The following articles show you the various ways, even how to find the Homegroup password for Windows 7, if you’ve forgotten that.
- How to Reset Your Windows Password Without an Install CD
- How to Reset Your Forgotten Windows Password the Easy Way
- Change or Reset Windows Password from a Ubuntu Live CD
- Change Your Forgotten Windows Password with the Linux System Rescue CD
- Reset Your Forgotten Password the Easy Way Using the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows
- How to Crack Your Forgotten Windows Password
- How Do You Find Your Windows 7 Homegroup Password? [Answers]
Resetting Passwords in Linux and Mac OS X
If you use Linux or a Mac, you can also easily reset your password, should you forget it. The following articles show you how to do so for Ubuntu and Mac OS X.
- Reset Your Forgotten Ubuntu Password in 2 Minutes or Less
- Reset Your Ubuntu Password Easily from the Live CD
- How to Reset Your Forgotten Mac OS X Password
Here’s some additional helpful articles about password security.
- How To Recover After Your Email Password Is Compromised
- Ask How-To Geek: What’s Wrong With Writing Down Your Password?
- ShouldIChangeMyPassword Tells If Your Password Has Been Compromised
- How to Use the New Picture Password and PIN Logon in Windows 8
- Set Up a Posthumous Password Contingency Plan
- Change the Length of Time When Users Need to Change their Login Password
- Temporarily Lock Your PC if Somebody Tries to Guess Your Password
No article about passwords would be complete without mentioning the really useful password tools on the Gibson Research Corporation website (www.grc.com), run by Steve Gibson, security guru and privacy expert. He also publishes a podcast called Security Now with Leo Laporte from TWiT TV (www.twit.tv). Archives of all the Security Now podcasts, back to the first one in August 2005, can be found at http://www.grc.com/securitynow.htm.
Steve’s Password Haystacks page provides an interactive, brute force “search space” calculator that checks your password’s “crackability.” It allows you to enter possible passwords and experiment with different combinations of character sets and password lengths. The calculator shows you how long it would take to do an exhaustive search of every password up through the length of the one entered and displays times for three different scenarios. It also shows an analysis of the brute force search space. The Password Haystacks page was covered by Los Angeles’ KABC-TV and there is a link on the page to the two and a half minute explanation they produced.
There are two pages on Steve’s site that help you to generate very secure passwords. His Perfect Passwords page generates long, high-quality random passwords using three different sets of characters. Passwords generated on this page are completely unique and will never be produced again. If you need a one-time password, Steve’s Perfect Paper Passwords page provides a free, simple, safe, and secure method of generating a convenient card of passcodes each of which is meant to be used one time only.