Quick, how many online accounts do you have?
If, you are the typical online citizen, you at least have the following:
- Primary email, usually gmail
- Secondary email, usually that yahoo account you set up decades ago
- Office email
And then there are the rest
- Tinder (We see you!)
Those are at least 10 online identities. With 10 usernames and passwords.
Let’s face it – if you add credit card PINs, debit card PINs, MPesa PINs and all sorts of other things we need to remember – it becomes a challenge keeping up with all the accounts.
It is also a challenge remembering all these passwords and PINs.
So, like most people, you chose one (or more of these options)
- Choose a simple password
- Re-use the same password across sites
- Write down your passwords in a notebook or text file on your PC, or saving them as contacts
What’s the harm?
Very simple. If someone compromises (or guesses) one of our passwords, then they have access to all your accounts.
Which is pretty bad.
What is even worse is this.
If someone compromises (or guesses) your primary email account – GAME OVER.
This is because your primary email account likely contains the following
- Correspondence from your bank – statements, credit card details, etc
- Correspondence from family and friends – upto and including sensitive / private details – family issues, health, etc
- Scans of your national ID, passport, PIN numbers etc
On top of all this, most people use their primary email to register to create other accounts. That means, if a nefarious individual has access to your primary account, they can access all your other accounts very simply without needing to know those passwords by the simple technique of clicking ‘forgot password’.
Guess where the new password or instructions will be sent?
Securing your primary email account is something I will go into depth later.
But for this article – back to the topic at hand.
Let’s face it – most of us (including yours truly) lack the inclination, let alone the ability, to create and remember unique passwords for all our online identities.
Luckily, there is a tool that can help with this – a password manager