Daylight Savings and Security

I know, I know. I hate Daylight Savings time, too. It’s outdated and stupid. There is no reason to move our clocks around twice a year anymore. We have lights, and we know how to use them.

But, Daylight Savings Day is a good reminder to do some housekeeping. Everyone knows you should change the batteries in your smoke detectors when you move your clock. You should also change some passwords.

A lot of us keep most of our lives online. Banking, social, music, contacts, email, calendars… They are all very personal and very vulnerable.

Use an app like OnePassword (my favorite) or Last Pass to remember passwords for you so you can use real, secure, unguessable passwords. I used to be TERRIBLE about passwords. I’d use my dog’s name or my street. Those days are gone. OnePassword (and all password managers) will give you a randomly generated password, then save it. Here’s one:

zy7hiwh9phoz

I asked OnePassword for a random password and got that. No one will ever guess it, and it would take a computer months to brute-force it. And all these passwords I use online are saved offline in the OnePassword file, and all I have to remember is the one password to open OnePassword. They make plug-ins for Safari, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. There are smartphone and tablet apps, as well. They all sync and keep your passwords with you.

Take a half an hour and change the most important passwords. Then, take the next few weeks letting a password manager run in your browser collecting passwords for you. After, say, January 1, go through the app and see how similar all your passwords really are. For most people, if someone gets one of your passwords, they can guess all of them. Worse, if they get your email password, they can reset all your other passwords.

Security isn’t fun, but it can be easy.