Managing Passwords in WordPress: 3 Invaluable Security Tools

managing passwords in wordpressIf you’ve been looking for a way of managing passwords in WordPress read on…

So here’s the thing. Most people have one, maybe two passwords they use over and over. It fulfills the convenience need of being easy to remember.

However it fails in the security department big time!

A lot of hacks come about by brute force attacks. They try commonly used usernames and passwords using horrible little automated bots. In short, if you keep using “grannyapples” for every account then you’re taking a big risk.

There is a way to use complex and highly secure passwords without having to remember them.

But first…

What makes a secure password?

A secure password is at least 8 characters in length,  contain upper and lowercase letters and ideally some numbers and symbols. You can test the strength of your passwords using this online tool.

Here then are the 3 main strategies you can use to manage passwords in WordPress and your general web surfing:

Managing Passwords in WordPress

1. Secure Text Documents

This might sound a little basic but it works and it also allows you to save more detailed information as well. Here is an example of how I use this system:

WordPress Login Document

I find the best way is to have a single document for each website project that contains all the relevant links, passwords and code that I need. This way I can type the password into the document first and then paste it into forms.

NOTE: You can password protect Word docs for an extra level of security.

2. Storing Passwords in Your Browser

This solution requires your browser to store your passwords so you will need to use something with a proven track record of security, such as Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari. No Internet Explorer allowed!

All three of these browsers also have some advanced syncing options for other devices and platforms as well.

Firefox

Firefox Browser Mozilla

Password Addon – Secure Login.

To find all your stored passwords go to Preferences (Options on Windows) >> Security >> Saved Passwords.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome browser

Password Extension – Built-in support or you could try the excellent LastPass.

To find your stored passwords on Google Chrome follow this guide.

Safari

Safari Browser Apple

Password Extension – Built-in OS X support. On Windows you can manage passwords here.

To access your saved passwords visit Preferences >> Passwords.

3. Password Software

1 Password is software for Mac and Windows that takes all the thinking out of the process of creating and using secure passwords. After installing the software it plugs into your computer and browsers and when you need to create a password for an account it will do it all for you.

LastPass is also an excellent choice as it works across different browsers and allows you to sync across devices as well.

There are more applications and systems that help you manage your passwords. Read about password managers on Lifehacker.

I use methods 1 and 2 as I have a lot of web projects to look after. It works well and makes it easy to send details to clients. Just copy and paste them into an email and I’m done.

How secure is your PC?

I realise this is a big issue in itself but it’s important to note that many of these strategies can fail if your computer is compromised.

If your PC or laptop is in a public area you might want to secure it with a master password. Also we have to consider the issue (on Windows at least) of malware and viruses. Using a reputable anti-virus software like Avast would be a good idea.

I hope this helps you get control of something that is a cause of major frustration as well as potential security issues online. If you have any questions please let us know in the comments. :-)

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