It’s Really Time to Use Strong, Unique Passwords (Really!)

A silver key and a blurry reflection of the key on a dark table with a blurred background.

I attended the Matrix Group Security and Compliance Committee meeting this month and I asked them what we’re doing this month to make our clients and Matrix Group more secure. We talked about a lot of things, including new protocols, ongoing reviews, and our yearly security assessment. One thing kept coming: our clients need to set stronger passwords.

Most People Set Weak Passwords

How do we know that our clients don’t have strong passwords? Because they tell us that they know they need stronger passwords. Or they share their passwords so we can access their DNS or their analytics reports. Or they set up accounts for us and they give us laughingly simple passwords. Or they say things like, “I have a spreadsheet with all of my passwords” or “I use the same password all the time.”

Why You Need a Password Manager

Folks, it’s past time to use strong, unique passwords on each and every single site that you have an account on. If you reuse passwords, one breach means your entire digital life is compromised. If you use versions of the same password (e.g., variations on Coffee), believe me, the bad guys know you’re doing this and they know how to crack the code on these passwords.

So what’s the answer? It’s simple, really. Use a password manager. Here’s a great review by Cybernew of the best password managers, updated in 2022. Me, I use LastPass; my whole family uses it, including my 11-year old. I let LastPass create strong, unique passwords for me. Everything goes into LastPass, including my Amazon Prime PIN and my airline frequent flier passwords and account numbers. 

Why I Love My Password Manager

Here’s the beautiful part: since I have LastPass installed as a Chrome extension, LastPass populates login pages for me. On my phone, since I have LastPass installed as an app, I use Face ID to populate passwords. The upshot is that I have strong passwords AND it’s easy to log in to my various accounts.

And you know what else? LastPass lets me know when one of my sites has been breached (so I know to change those passwords) and tells me which of my passwords are weak (also so I know to change them). Did I tell you I love LastPass?

It is waaaaay past time to use strong, unique passwords. Do yourself a GIANT favor and get a password manager. Get it for your parents, your spouse and your kids. Help them get started. Make your digital life safer and make the Internet a safer place. Do it. Now.