Monthly Archives: August 2014

Ali Baba and the Data Thieves

When Ali Baba over heard the thieves entering and leaving a cave full of treasure with  the password “Open Sesame” and “Close Sesame”, his life took an interesting turn.  He now had access to the treasure but he also had a hoard of thieves looking to find him and remove him.  Their attempts were, on subsequent occasions, foiled by a faithful servant “Morgiana”, whose efforts provided her with freedom and Ali Baba’s son in marriage.

 

One of the most worthwhile and time consuming activities that a computer owner undertakes, is time spent creating, accessing and retrieving passwords.  Each and every person who owns or uses a computer will have a password for their email, a password for each one of their social networks, a password for their bank account, a password for their tax returns.  And as the Government begins to introduce more and more online services and increasingly it is mandatory to pay property tax income tax etc online.  each of us will have to consider how we are going to manage these passwords.

 

The plethora of accounts that each and every person maintains on a computer is staggering.  Each one of the passwords protects a treasure trove of information. For each of these accounts you are required to have a username and password, current wisdom decrees that each password should be unique. The reasoning behind this is solid, and is to do with the level of hacking that takes place on the Internet.  It is a veritable den of thieves,  if one of your accounts is hacked and you use the same user name and password for many accounts then it is safe to say that each and every one of those accounts is compromised.

 

The following password manager programs were reviewed in (uk.pcmag.com). KeePass and Norton Identity Safe are free. LastPass has a free edition. Dashlane and F-Secure are free for a single device. The free edition of Password Box is fully functional, but stores only 25 passwords. These are only a few of the free solutions, and many of them have a paid for edition which gives greater functionality.

 

Each one of these password managers will require a master password, which is the key to your particular cave of delights and this will need to be complex. Complex passwords contain a mixture of small letters, capital letters, numbers and special characters e.g. &,*,%<{.   Open Sesame is just too easy.