It’s 2020 and as usual, the list of the worst passwords of the previous year (2019) is released. The top 10 on the list are always the same: #1: 123456, #2: 123456789, #3: qwerty, #4: “password” (my personal favorite), #5: 1234567, #6: 12345678, #7: 12345, #8: iloveyou, #9: 111111, #10: 123123.
The trend you might detect from above is that they are all very basic and very easy to remember. They made the top 10 of the list for a reason; everyone knows them! They are the least secure passwords of all time. Using these and the rest on the list is like not using a password at all. I’m actually glad that most sites now require that you create passwords of a certain minimal length, include upper and lower case characters, at least one number and at least one symbol. This means that you’ll have to put a little more effort into the password you create and it may not be as easy to remember, but at least it will be a lot less guessable.
Someone guessing your password is only part of the problem
Although I have what seems like a mountain of thumb/flash drives lying around, I've never had one as cool as the one my friend Mary just gave me. It's called the IronKey. While it looks like an ordinary thumb drive in a cool aluminum casing, it's actually a lot more.
For the Security Conscious
As computer users we're taught not to leave a list of our passwords next to our computer right? Some will take it a step further and put that list on their computers in a text filed called something less obvious like "Johnson Rod Repair Manual". However, sensitive data should really be encrypted! While there is no shortage of encryption apps for Mac and PC's, I don't run across hardware solutions as often. Sure, most portable drives will offer something, but in that case it's usually very platform specific and requires the software to actually be "installed" to use it. The IronKey takes a simpler more straight forward approach.
Set it up
When you first plug in the USB thumb drive, you can launch the app for your platform right off the device itself. They have the documentation there as well. Give it a name and your secure password (please remember it!). You can also enable the Device Reset feature at this point so that if your device is lost/stolen and someone keys in the wrong password too many times it will automatically and securely erase or destroy the device.
At this point your IronKey is ready to use
Just key in your password and it will unlock and mount the drive