A Smarter Solution for Thief-Proof Passwords

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Product Review on Password Manager Software

It often amazes me to find out how many people shy away from implementing ideas that they KNOW will make them safer. There are a multitude of reasons I know:

  • Ignorance: “I didn’t know there was a helmet law in this state.”
  • Fear: “But if I put my money in a bank, there could be a run on it.  It’s safer under my mattress.”
  • Misunderstanding:  “Well, I thought that sign meant I could park here for free on Sunday.”
  • Laziness: “It’ll be okay to leave my laptop on the table while I run to the bathroom real quick.”

I could reel off ideas for literally hours, and every one of these reasons relate directly to not safeguarding your passwords as well. But I want to assure you that it may be THE most important thing you do to secure your data. One of the easiest things anyone can do is utilize a password manager program. There are a lot to choose from but the one I personally recommend is the award-winning 1Password, which remembers and securely encrypts all of your passwords so you don’t have to. You merely come up with one secure master password and then train 1Password to log in to sites for you.

So what exactly are the features of 1password?  There are a LOT!  The best:

  • Strong password generator— a single click gives you a random, extremely strong new password using combinations of hyphens, digits, symbols and mixed cases letters.  No more having to think of (and try to remember!) catchy, unhackable passwords for each account.
  • All these strong passwords are saved within 1Password in a highly protected way, and are ready to be automatically accessed when needed by simply typing one master password that only you know.
  • Ease of use– one click can open your browser, take you to a site, fill in your username and password, and log you in.
  • 1Password can sync your data across all your devices automatically through iCloud and Dropbox, or locally over Wi-Fi where your data never leaves your network.
  • The vault will store your credit cards, reward programs, membership cards, bank accounts, passports, wills, investments, private notes and more.  It has been compared to a 21st-century digital wallet.  (But no one can pickpocket you.)
  • 1Password is one of the few password manager options to allow file attachments, so you can safely store related receipts and images, and it will also keep track of your software licenses.
  • 1Password can show all your items with weak, duplicate, and old passwords so you can decide which ones to fortify and update.  No more using five variations of your childhood dog’s name.  It will look at the strength of each password as well as find duplicate passwords and replace them with strong, unique ones.
  • 1Password is fluent in multiple platforms and browsers, including Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone.
  • If your 1Password vault is in Dropbox or a USB thumb drive, you can decrypt and use it from any traditional computer in the world with a modern browser including Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera. This has security implications of its own, which I’ll address in a later post.

The prices vary based on the platform used and license purchased, but the prices are reasonable and worth it!

Fully 50% of the corporations that I work with and speak to have had data breaches due to poor password habits. Surprising, given how many of those would have been avoided had they simply used password manager software like 1Password.

John Sileo is an an award-winning author and keynote speaker on identity theft, internet privacy, fraud training & technology defense. John specializes in making security entertaining, so that it works. John is CEO of The Sileo Group, whose clients include the Pentagon, Visa, Homeland Security & Pfizer. John’s body of work includes appearances on 60 Minutes, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper & Fox Business. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076.

Secure Document Storage

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SentrySafe Fire Safes

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Employee Background Checks

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According to The Ponemon Institute, an independent research foundation, the average cost of data breach to a victim corporation is $6.75 million. In 2008, the lowest reported cost of data breach was $613,000, while the highest was just under $32 million. Given that the average cost per stolen record is $202, one missing laptop with 2,500 customer or employee records on it would come with a data breach recovery bill for a half a million dollars. And that doesn’t factor in loss of stock value, brand damage or customer defection that results from having your breach in the news. Read more

Vehicle Document Storage

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The Privacy Problem: Thanks to laptops, smart phones, DVDs and a deluge of other data-holding mobile devices, we carry as much sensitive data with us as we keep in our homes and offices. These devices are at a much higher risk of theft when they are in transit.

The Privacy Project: To help you better protect identity-bearing devices while they are being transported and stored in your car (RV, boat, etc.). The solution… Read more