ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Protect Your Important Computer Passwords

Updated on February 9, 2018
drpennypincher profile image

Dr. Penny Pincher founded the popular personal finance blog Penny Pincher Journal in 2013 and has published two books about saving money.

How do you protect your computer passwords?
How do you protect your computer passwords? | Source

How Do You Protect Your Important Computer Passwords?

Passwords that are easy to remember are usually the easiest to break. The most commonly used password on Internet accounts today is "password". Yes, that's right- people actually use "password" as their password. Almost any password would be better than that!

Cyber attackers try common passwords and dictionary words first when attempting to break passwords. This forces people to use stronger passwords to protect their accounts.

Strong passwords avoid dictionary words and incorporate symbols, numbers, and capitalization- making them harder to remember. You can check the strength of your password using LastPass's password strength test webpage. You'll quickly see that very strong passwords can be very hard to remember.

Remembering your passwords becomes even harder because it is not secure to reuse your password on more than one site. It is bad enough if your password gets compromised at one site, but if you reused that same password other places, the damage can be even worse. Juggling multiple passwords makes it even harder to remember your passwords and keep track of which password goes with which site. How can you protect your important computer passwords?

How to Use a Password Manager to Protect Your Passwords

A password manager is software that stores your passwords in an encrypted file along with usernames and website addresses. This allows you to keep track of all of your passwords secure without writing them down or typing them in a file. Some password manager programs will prompt you to save your passwords in your secure vault as you use them. You are more likely to use strong passwords on your Internet accounts if you do not need to remember them all. The only password you need to remember is the master password that unlocks your encrypted password vault. The rest of your passwords are safely stored in the encrypted vault.

Some password managers create an encrypted password file on your computer, and others store the encrypted file in the cloud. It may seem to present a security risk to store your passwords in the cloud, but strong encryption protects your data from anyone who does not have the master password. Cloud storage is convenient- you can access your passwords anywhere, anytime.

Password Manager Software Stores Your Passwords in an Encrypted Vault
Password Manager Software Stores Your Passwords in an Encrypted Vault | Source

How a Password Manager Uses Encryption to Protect Your Passwords

A password manager scrambles your passwords with an algorithm that uses your master password. The only way to unscramble the data is with your exact master password. Cyber attackers can attempt brute force password breaking on encrypted files. This involves trying common passwords, dictionary words, and even all combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols.

When the correct password is finally guessed, the unencrypted file will contain structured information- such as words separated by spaces- rather than scrambled characters and symbols. However a strong password with a strong encryption algorithm such as those used by password manager software takes a very long time to crack- years or more with currently available computers.

Get Free Password Management Software and Protect Your Passwords

There are several good choices for password manager software, and even better news- most are free. KeePass and Password Safe are compatible with Windows. LastPass runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, and mobile platforms and supports cloud storage of passwords. 1Password has options for Mac and Windows as well as mobile platforms.

Get a password manager today and protect your important computer passwords.

Password Manager
Password Safe
Free/ $12 per year for premium upgrade

Table of Popular Free Password Management Software

© 2013 Dr Penny Pincher


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)