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Learn to use strong passwords

Lincoln Spector | Oct. 23, 2012
Passwords protect every part of your online life. If you don't treat them properly, you're exposing yourself to a whole mess of trouble.

There are several good password managers, but I'm partial to Password Safe (available as a download on PCWorld). Password Safe is free (at least for Windows), and open source. It uses strong twofish encryption. It can generate truly random passwords for you, following rules that you set. It can insert a login name and password into a Web form. And you can organize your passwords into groups.

You'll also find Password Safe-compatible apps for Android and iOS.

Don't give away your passwords

Finally, be careful about throwing your passwords around. Follow these steps for added safety:

  • Never type a password on a Web site that isn't secure.
  • Never share a password with anyone that you wouldn't trust with your credit card.
  • Never email one of your passwords, even to someone you trust, without taking proper precautions.
  • If a Web site offers additional protection, such as Gmail's two-step verification option, use it.


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