There's no question that society is going in a direction that's heavily influenced by new technology and the Internet. Within the last decade alone, the Internet has been the driving force in many changes to our daily way of life. With that change comes a host of usernames and passwords.
There are countless programs, apps and websites that require usernames and passwords for you to gain access to them.
"I pay a lot of our bills online. Consequently as a result of that, you have to have passwords to get into everything you want to do," Dave Perry said.
You can only remember so much. So what do you do? Well that depends on who you ask. Many people we spoke to say they have come up with their own solutions for remembering their countless usernames and password.
"In order to remember all these passwords, I'm not good at remembering things, I never have been. So I just write them down," Perry said.
Danielle Johnson says her solution is simple. She uses the same username and password combination for every account she has.
"I keep a lot of them the same. I mix a few of them up. You split half of them up. If you have two different passwords it's easier to remember that way. Otherwise you're going to just go rambling on," Johnson said.
Writing the information down and storing it in a safe place seems secure enough, but it's not recommended. And if you are one those people who think the solution is to keep all their username password combos the same, experts say no to that, too.
"Some people disagree, but I do think the idea of keeping a book or some kind of log at home is a good idea. I would limit the information I keep in there though," Best Buy Geek Squad Specialist, Clayton Tate said. "As for keeping them all the same, it's kind of like having one key to everything for your digital self. If you have your car keys, your house keys, your key to your office at work and they're all one key, what happens if somebody gets that key? Well, they have access to everything."
Tate says that same rule applies online. Hackers have become extremely advanced over the years. If the password you use for everything was ever compromised, that could open the door for a world of trouble.
"Think of everything you have secured with it. Let's try the most obvious, which is going to be things like your banking account. If that password gets stolen, then they have access to your account," Tate said. "They can do wire transfers, to and from your account or open up credit cards in your name. Even if you say you know your baking is secure, well what about your Facebook or email?"
It may not have monetary repercussions, but a hacked social media or email account could also be pretty dangerous. Think of employers, or colleagues who might see vile and unauthorized posts or emails sent from your account.
Creating a secure password isn't always an easy process. Usually it's suggested that you change them every 60 to 90 days. Then there are the requirements about uppercase letters, lowercase letters. Numbers, and symbols. The list goes on and on.
But there are solutions, and one of them might be in your smart phone.
"Password management programs. You can find them for your cell phone. There are some for mobile devices. There are some that will be a part of your web browser, like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Firefox," Tate said.
Essentially, password management apps act as a digital vault for all your important information. By entering a simple four-digit code, all your usernames and passwords can be stored in one place.
"I think a lot of people aren't aware of them yet because they are something that started developing really kind of recently. Five years ago, how many passwords did you have? Probably not many. Nowadays you have passwords for everything. These management apps are something that really started growing more recently," Tate said. "I actually use a password management app myself and they really do help. Make sure you do some research on those though so you're sure its not one that's malicious and trying to steal your information."
Password management apps seem to be on the rise. Judging from the reviews on many of the program's pages, people seem to be confident in them. The folks we spoke with had differing opinions when it came to whether or not they would turn to the app to solve their password problems.
"I've done it a few times, with notebooks, but they get lost all the time. I probably would use the apps," Johnson said.
For Perry and his wife, however, coming from another generation, the app just doesn't seem like the best idea.
"There's so much phone theft that you hear about. I'd be a little wary about putting it in my phone. Write them down on a piece of paper," Perry said.
The folks over at Best Buy and the Geek Squad were kind enough to send us a list of different techniques for creating secure passwords and useful tips for remembering them.
To help keep your Wi-Fi network secure and your personal data safe from prying eyes, here are a few simple "password ground rules" that Geek Squad Agents encourage consumers to live by:
Other tips for detecting viruses include:
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