National Cyber Security Awareness Week kicked off yesterday with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy declaring passwords as the main focus.

A simple way to be more secure online is to toughen up our passwords, as well as change them regularly, so that our online information is as safe as it can be.

- Stephen Conroy

Unfortunately, this advice misses a key rule of password security: never tell any. As obvious as it might seem, today, I'm not talking about your friends, Nigerian princes or pet rock. Reusing the same password at multiple websites breaks this rule.

Password managers do :

  • Keep passwords safe behind a master password.
  • Log in websites with .

Some even fill in forms (like contact details) with a click of a button, making online shopping a breeze. Sadly there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to password managers. I've heard good things about Dashlane; many swear by LastPass and  RoboForm has a fanatical following. All manager across devices, although it may come at additional cost.

That is all well and good, but if you are like me, your parents are reluctant to use a password manager due to the added cognitive overhead.

There is hope!

  1. Ask them to make, which are distinct from each other. mydog1, mydog2, mydog3, mydog4 do not count.
  2. Now for each website ask them to rate how trustworthy, secure and important it is into : do not really care, care, really care about.
  3. Assign to each of the
  4. The fourth password becomes their primary email account password.

While no replacement for . Using the above system limits damage, if data from a website is stolen, the websites in the other groups are not affected. Not perfect, but much better.

Passwords suck, Practice Password Hygiene!

What is your favourite password manager?



  1. keepass

    Comment by dude on 22 May 2013 at 11:02
    • I used to use KeePass and loved it!

      Until the amount of account I had because so burdensome, switching out of the browser into KeePass, finding the right entry (out of hundreds) and then ctrl-v got too much.

      There is KeeFox but I didn't like it.

      Comment by Steven Roddis on 22 May 2013 at 14:47
  2. KeePass on PC, KeePassDroid on smartphone, password file in Dropbox synced across devices. Simple & free.

    Comment by Nicky on 22 May 2013 at 14:05
  3. Dude: check out the global auto type feature in KeePass on Windows. It allows you to link a password to any number of sites, as well as customise how your details are entered into each one. Once it's setup, you can simply press Ctrl+Alt+A to automatically enter your credentials.

    Comment by Andrew on 22 May 2013 at 20:22