Password Security on the Web

20170404_PasswordI’VE BEEN SENDING out informational articles over the last several months to educate my clients on (a) how to be safer on the web and (b) how to prevent getting hacked on your digital devices. The article below is excellent and is shared from the Windows Secrets Newsletter dated March 16, 2017.I personally use RoboForm exclusively to manage my passwords because it’s able to sync across devices including my computer, my smartphone, and my tablet. It’s very reasonable at $19.95 per year and covers the unlimited devices you may have.

I’m not affiliated with RoboForm in any manner, but I have several clients who use it. It’s great having, in my case, over 500 passwords and yet they’re all different! No one can remember all of their passwords, so it’s the safest way for anyone to proceed. Hackers know that most people use the same password for all of their accounts, and if a hacker is able to figure out one password, they will try to use it with all of your banking sites etc. by using your email address (and that password) to compromise your financial data.

Enjoy this article and if anyone needs help setting something like this up, let me know.

ON ANOTHER MATTER, I’ve had several clients shut their computers down during Windows updates in the last couple of weeks. With Microsoft now treating Windows 7 & 8 clients the same as Windows 10, these are cumulative updates and can be quite large. If your computer seems to be running slow and non-responsive, it may be doing updates. Be patient and let them complete.

I had one customer who’s computer took over 5 hours to complete the update! This is because a cumulative update looks for any updates that are needed for security reasons (that haven’t been installed) so can be quite large if there are many of them. In one instance, shutting down during installation cratered the client’s hard drive resulting in a new hard drive (and 3 hours of labor) to get everything else done. In another client, it ruined the PC and the client bought a new one instead of spending the money to repair the old one. Just a word to the wise.

— Tom FitzGerald, President
Shamrock System Solutions

Manage Your Website Passwords
Across All Your PCs and Mobile Devices

March 16, 2017 | By Lance Whitney | Best Practices, Top Story, Windows Secrets

You can use a password manager to generate, store, and apply your website passwords. Here’s how to set one up for each browser and device you use.

Managing the passwords for all your websites is a challenge. Not only are you supposed to come up with a complex password that can’t easily be guessed or hacked. But you’re supposed to employ a different password for each website you use. Some require both upper- and lowercase letters, others require that plus a number and a special character, some grade your password on degree of difficulty to crack, forcing you to break away from any tricks you’ve used to generate passwords you can remember.

And now, we all live in a world where we are hitting the same websites and services across a broad array of devices, from desktop computers to mobile phones. You’ll want to manage your passwords on all your web browsers on all your devices. And you’ll want to sync your website passwords across all your browsers and devices. How is all that possible?

We have a two-word answer for you: password managers. Such tools can conjure up complex passwords for each website and then automatically apply those passwords every time you visit a particular site. But can you set up and use a password manager that works and syncs across all your browsers and devices? Yes, you can.

In this article, I’ll look at three popular password managers – Dashlane, LastPass, and RoboForm – and explain how to install and set them up across all your browsers and on all your PCs and mobile devices.

Dashlane: Set Up On Your PC

To set up Dashlane on your PC, download the software from its website using any browser, then install the downloaded .exe file. Follow the prompts to create your account and master password. Then add Dashlane to the browser from which you downloaded the software. You should see the Dashlane button among the other icons to the right of the address field. Browse to a site for which you want to create a new password. Click on the Dashlane button. To generate the new password, click on the Generate tab, copy the password, and then apply it at the website. You’re prompted to save your login credentials to your Dashlane account. The next time you visit that website, your login credentials pop up to sign you in.

Now you’ll want to set up Dashlane on your other browsers and computers. There is one hitch. You can install the free version of Dashlane across your browsers on a PC, iPhone, iPad, and Android device. But the freebie won’t sync your website passwords across the board. To snag the syncing feature, you’ll need to buy the Dashlane Premium subscription, which costs $39.99 a year.

To get Dashlane cooking on your other browsers, open each of them one after the other. On each browser, log into your account at the Dashlane website with your username and master password. You may also have to apply a security code that gets sent to your email address. Download and install or simply open the Dashlane software, and that browser is good to go. If you own more than one computer, you can also log into the different browsers on your other PCs and set up Dashlane via these same steps.

Dashlane: Set Up on Your Mobile Devices

Once your Dashlane account is set up and the software is installed on your PCs, getting it running on your mobile devices is relatively simple. Download the iOS version of Dashlane from Apple’s App Store and the Android version at Google Play. Open the app and sign into your Dashlane account. Your account information and website login credentials are downloaded to the app. You can now tap on a website to automatically sign into it using your username and password.

If your device has fingerprint recognition, you can use that feature instead of your master password to open the app.

LastPass: Set Up on Your PC

To set up LastPass on your PC, download the software from its website. You can install LastPass separately in each browser, or you can install the LastPass Universal Windows Installer, which creates browser extensions for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. I tried the Universal Installer, and it worked without a hitch.

Open each of your browsers one after the other and allow the extension to install. You should see the LastPass button among the other icons to the right of the browser address field. Browse to a site for which you want to create a new password. Click on the LastPass button and then click on the command to “Generate Secure Password.” Copy the password and apply it at the website. You’re prompted to save the site information to your LastPass vault. The next time you visit that website, LastPass automatically sends your login credentials to the appropriate fields to sign you in.

To set up LastPass on another computer, install the Universal Windows Installer so it’s set up as an extension on each of the browsers you use.

LastPass offers a browser extension for Microsoft Edge in Windows 10. To install this in Edge, click on the More icon (the one with three dots). From the dropdown menu, click on the Extensions command and then click on the link to “Get extensions from the store.” At the Windows store, click on the link for LastPass to install it as an extension.

LastPass: Set Up on Your Mobile Devices

LastPass offers mobile apps for iOS and Android. Simply install the app you need and then launch it on your phone or tablet. Open the app, enter your master password, and tap on the website you wish to visit. Your login credentials are automatically applied.

If your device has a fingerprint sensor, you can use that in place of your master password to open the app. And best of all, your website passwords automatically sync across your different browsers and devices with the free edition of LastPass. A premium version that costs $12 a year adds more features, such as family password sharing and desktop fingerprint identification.

RoboForm: Set Up on Your PC

To set up RoboForm on a computer, download the software from its website. Installing RoboForm from the downloaded file automatically adds it as an extension to all of the browsers on your computer. You’re prompted to create a master password. You can then enable the RoboForm extension as you open each of your browsers.

Like the other password managers, RoboForm will generate a complex password for each of your websites, store your usernames and passwords in its database, and then apply your login credentials to each site. Depending on the browser, you can launch RoboForm from a lone icon or set up an entire toolbar with the RoboForm commands and features of your choice. Repeat these steps for any other computers on which you want to install the program.

You can also install the RoboForm extension in the Microsoft Edge browser by following the same steps described previously for LastPass.

RoboForm: Set Up on Your Mobile Devices

RoboForm supports iOS and Android, so you can install the software on your mobile device. Open the app and then log in with your RoboForm account username, password, and master password. You can also opt to use fingerprint recognition on a mobile device outfitted with that feature. After you launch the app, just tap on the icon for the website you wish to visit, and you’re whisked away with your login credentials automatically applied.

By using RoboForm Everywhere, which stores your website passwords on a secure server, your login credentials are also synchronized across your various browsers and devices.


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