PSA: Have you changed all your passwords yet?

by Colleen Morrow


When the news of heartbleed broke, I waited to see how many websites I have accounts on would let me know if I needed to change my password or not.  Within about 24 hours, I had 3 emails.  I've gotten more since then and in general, I've been pretty impressed with the response from the websites I use.  I spent a big chunk of time the other day updating a number of my passwords.  And then I got on my soap box and emailed my mom and my sister to make sure they were updating their passwords.

I'll be honest - I'm updating more passwords than I need to because I'm still not using unique passwords on every site.  I know that's bad but remembering passwords sucks so I have a handful of fairly good passwords that I just repeat.  Which is bad.  A while back, I bought 1Password and very quickly, I got everything that really mattered into it - all of my banking sites, email, and stuff I use on a fairly regular basis.  But I forgot about how many other sites there are that I only log into once in a while - Chapters, Amazon, BookDepository, Abebooks, Goodreads, LibraryThing, to name a few.  

I don't want to sound like an infomercial but 1Password is pretty awesome.  The basic point of it is to help you create and "remember" secure passwords for all your stuff.  It does more but the password thing is the most important part.  It has a password generator that will create crazy insane passwords for you.  Each login gets it's own little entry, storing the website, your user id & your password (plus whatever else you want it to remember) and then when it's time to log onto that site, you enter your 1Password password and just click the entry for where you want to go and it's off to the races.  It is really easy to use.  I don't know any of my passwords other than my 1Password master password.  Oh, and my iTunes password cause I still need to be able to download apps.  They have versions for the PC, for the Mac, and for iOS (sorry android & BB users... guess you'll just have to get your identities stolen.)  And with heartbleed, they put all of the versions on sale.  I just checked - it's still on sale, though I don't know how much longer it will be.  

The size of the heartbleed bug really reminded me how much data I have out there, how many accounts, how few passwords.  So I've been logging into everything I can ever remember logging into ever to get it into 1Password and setting a new, secure password.

And it's still on sale.  So give some serious thought to picking it up because these breaches and hacks and bugs and whatnot are just going to keep happening.  Also, my mom uses it (okay, she's bought it and I'm going to teach her to use it soon but still, that totally counts.)  Do you want my mom to be more technologically savvy than you?  I didn't think so.  

P.S.  Hi Mom.  You're totally a technological wizard.

P.P.S. I swear this isn't an ad.