Love and hate sometimes go together. Take passwords. We love the security we hate to remember them, but passwords are an essential part of online life. Whether it’s email or website logins or applications on Mac, iPhone, iPad or wherever, passwords are here and likely to stay awhile.
Alright, if that’s the case, and I think it is, are there ways to minimize the frustrations and logistics that come with passwords and password management? The answer is yes, too, but it’s a bit more complicated and convoluted; at least until we have RFD implants and face recognition everywhere. Regarding the problems with passwords, and there are many, here’s what I see, what I use, and what I hope happens.
Memory vs. High Tech
My husband and I share the same passwords. We use the same passwords for many accounts, though the username or login ID might be different. The passwords we use are easy to remember because they are phrases mixed with numbers and symbols, and that mixture is what makes them more secure.
For Mac users who want plenty of security and easier management I recommend 1Password or Enpass (similar but less expensive). If all you need are more secure passwords then the interwebs remains full of online solutions, and ditto for Apple’s various app stores.
One I found recently that I like is called Nice Generator. It should be titled Nice Password Generator, but that’s a nit. A name is a name.
Use Nice Generator to adjust the password length. Just enter an appropriate number for your login. Then, click Uppercase or Lowercase letters, add Digits, Coin, or Dice (flip or roll, let the app decide). In the end, you get a complex, seemingly more secure password, but there’s more.
Nice Generator also lets you create your own alphabets, select specific phrase settings, or alter to your liking whatever password it generates.
Easy peasy, and inexpensive, plus there’s an iPhone version, too.
The only issue I have with password generators– and there are plenty around, most free or a few dollars, and every password manager app I know of has one built-in anyway– is the obvious. It’s still password technology; something to remember or something to stuff into a manager app to unlock a website or app or to pay online. Let’s hope Apple has a new line of Macs on the way with Face ID built in.
That’s why I’m excited about Face ID on iPhone X. But Apple uses the secure enclave in its own CPU design. Macs use Intel Inside, but I’m sure we’ll see future Macs with their own secure CPUs.
Until we get government issued implants or on contact DNA or blood readers, Face ID may be the best way to keep yourself secure online but also make the experience much easier. Except for that messy setup. Otherwise, we’re stuck with passwords for some time to come.