This Article will explain how to create and manage safe passwords, It’s worth setting up a system and sticking to it if you want to keep your entire family safe, both online and off.
Parenting in the 2020s means a lot of passwords. You have school devices, football team logins and Roblox and Minecraft and YouTube.
Sometimes it seems like your kids have more accounts than you! This means it’s very, very tempting to create easy-to-remember passwords and (okay, you can be honest) reuse those passwords across different accounts.
Now, we know you know both are very bad ideas if you’re worried about things like identity theft, someone gaining access to your finances, or one of the millions of other ways a cybercriminal can use your stolen login information.
Those of you who have been paying attention might even remember the Seesaw credential stuffing attack, in which repurposed passwords were used to send a highly objectionable and obscene image of parental accounts to inboxes. of the teachers.
oh! The Seesaw attack occurred as a result of parents reusing passwords on their accounts. But imagine the damage that could have been done, to the things a child could be exposed to if a cybercriminal accessed a child’s account.
It’s scary, but we’re not here just to scare you. Fortunately, there are real steps you can take to create and manage safe passwords for kids, without losing your mind in the process. This is what we recommend.
1. Create As Few Accounts As Possible
Parents of several children in particular will quickly discover that keeping track of everything is a total nightmare.
So even though it may seem almost impossible, try to create as few accounts for your children as possible. This is really for your sanity as much as it is for them.
2. Use Your Email Address If You Can
Signing up for accounts with your email address not only keeps things centralized but also protects your kids in the event of a data breach or hack.
The prospect of your login information being stolen is not great, but imagine if it was your five-year-old. Even worse.
3. Use Passphrases
You’ve heard of passwords, but have you heard of passphrases? They are the human-centric solution to the computer-centric format of strong password recommendations.
Think of it this way: have you ever remembered one of those passwords that look like 42^@la;lmcie^$? No, of course not, unless you have a photographic memory.
Experts have been recommending that we create passwords like this for years because they are hard for both computers and humans to guess.
But a well-constructed passphrase is hard to crack and relatively easy to remember. The key is to build a system from scratch, which we’ll cover in the next tip.
But, at its core, a good passphrase is just a series of unrelated words, like the cupholder-bullshit-blue roof. It doesn’t make sense, so it’s hard to guess, but it’s made up of real words, so it’s easier to remember.
4. Create And Follow A System
Before you start create and manage safe passwords or passphrases for your children, create a system. For example, if you have multiple children, you can start each password or passphrase with the first letter of their name or their initials.
You can do something similar to indicate what the password is for, by creating different terms for different things. For example, “school” could become SCL, or “soccer” could become FTBL.
After initialing the password and/or what it’s for, it’s time to create a passphrase. Create a system for this too, like always having an object, color, verb, and adverb, for example.
Think of something like “stove-red-run-beautifully.” Then, if you want to make it even more secure, add some capitalization and maybe a couple of symbols instead of letters.
5. Use A Password Manager, Differently.
You can also use a password manager (which is software that stores all your passwords and can be “unlocked” with a master password) to store your children’s passwords.
You probably don’t want to give that admin access to them though, because it has all your passwords. And, depending on the ages of your children, you may still be trying to control what they access online, at least to some degree.
So instead of installing your password manager directly on the devices your child uses, simply use it as a storage space so that if you forget a password, you can access it quickly and easily. Your kids don’t need to have access, at least until they’re old enough to have their password manager.
6. Delete Old Accounts.
Finally, do an annual review of all accounts in your password manager and remove any that your kids are no longer using. This not only means you have fewer passwords to keep track of, but you also protect yourself (and your kids) from data breaches and hacking of those accounts.
Practicing strong password hygiene can seem like a hassle, even when it comes to your accounts. So we fully understand why it is more annoying to have to do the same with your children. But it’s worth setting up a system and sticking to it if you want to keep your entire family safe, both online and off.