Are Password Managers Safe?

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Recently I tried to use RoboForm for an account at a large financial institution, but I couldn’t get it to work. In response to my inquiry, this institution said they do not permit log in using credentials that are stored on software because the security of the password could become jeopardized if my computer were hacked, invaded, etc. Is this true? Am I safer not to use tools like RoboForm?

Some believe using password managers represents a single point of failure. Very technically, they are correct: if someone gains access to your password manager, they have access to everything in it.

Not-so-technically, I strongly believe they are seriously misguided.

Using a password manager is significantly safer than the alternatives.

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How Long Should a Password Be?

For a long time, the common thinking was that the best, most practical passwords consisted of a random combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and a special character or two. If so composed, password length needed to be only eight characters.

Randomness remains important, but as it turns out, size matters more.

A password today should have a minimum of 12 characters, and ideally, 16 or even more.

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Phishing: How to Know it When You See It

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I’ve received an email from Microsoft asking for billing details and threatening the end of my Outlook.com account. Contacting Microsoft resulted in referral to a support alias, but no answer. Is this a problem, or a forgery?

Phishing is a word you hear a lot in the news these days, and this question brought it to mind.

You’re right to be suspicious: this definitely sounds like a phishing expedition.

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Will backups run if my PC asks for a password?

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Leo, I’m a bit confused. If I schedule a backup for say 1:00 am, must I leave my machine on? When I leave my machine on and unattended, then after about 15 minutes, the machine comes to a place where it needs my password to resume in Windows 7. Will this not prevent Macrium from performing a backup? Also if I backup to DVDs, I will need to be up at 1:00 am to swap out discs. Do you know where I go in Windows to disengage the password for my machine?

Some of the things that you ask about will definitely affect your ability to run your backups in the middle of the night – and some of them won’t.

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How do I change my Hotmail or Outlook.com password?

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I cannot get to the Account Summary or Options page for my Hotmail account. I needed to change my password.

As Microsoft updates its mail offering, some of its features are moving or changing.

As I’ve mentioned before, if you have a Hotmail (or Outlook.com, as it’s now called) account, you should expect change. Change happens. Sometimes, it’s small and other times, it’s quite dramatic – such as how you change your password.

I’ll walk through the steps to change your password in the current (as of this writing) design.

Read moreHow do I change my Hotmail or Outlook.com password?