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security tuesdays: secure yourselves, citizens

security tuesdays: secure yourselves, citizens


Happy Tuesday! For some people today is the first day of work after the new year. For some others it is not. Some of you might even be back to school (i do not envy you). A few of you might have worked yesterday too. Regardless of who you are and what you do, let's have another talk about password managers.

future plans intermission

Before that, quick talk about how this newsletter is going to work this year. I will be covering the general security stuff as usual, but will also be veering into the realm of NFTs and cryptocurrency and trying to explain what these are and how this could or could not apply to the real world. Also sorry writing a little scuffed today.

ranting resumes here

And now, back to yelling at you! If you're one of those people who use the same password for everything, please stop. I am begging you. Screaming and vomiting. Just ... shoot your email into this website called haveibeenpwned and check if any passwords associated with that email have been compromised.

That should tell you how safe of a password you have. One password that holds the key to many other accounts. That's scary! And if that gets out there and you use the same email for everything (like most people do), then your entire life (more on this in later newsletters) is out there.

But I hear you! It's hard to remember all these different passwords — especially if they ask you to input special characters, upper- and lower-case letters, your horoscope and a freshly-harvested bezoar.

That is why you must use a password manager.

what is this password manager thing

A password manager is basically anything that stores your passwords behind a master password. The basic gist is that you can create these super complex passwords and all you need to do is remember one of them that unlocks the rest.

The most basic form of this is a password-protected Word document. The next step up could be some app like LastPass, Bitwarden or 1Password. There are a ton of ways to keep your passwords safe — and as long as you're generating unique ones for every account you should be fine.

so which password manager should i use

Figure out what works best for you. Like I said earlier, the most important thing is that you're using a different password for every account. I have a friend who has a password-protected Notes thing on her phone. Some people literally use a physical notebook. Some people are into external apps and sites like KeePass and 1Password.

Some people may rag on the notebook option but as long as you're keeping that notebook somewhere physically safe, you should be fine. Personally, I think it's ok for less tech-savvy folks, but prime option is definitely keeping those passwords in the cloud or in an encrypted file.

So yeah. You can sign up to use a password manager at https://bitwarden.com (free i think) or 1Password (not free but nice). Looking forward to a more secure 2022!

See you next week,