This New App Uses Super Passwords To Thwart Hackers

GermWarfare_AmmielMendozaIllustrated By Ammiel Mendoza.
Last week’s celebrity photo hack was a wake-up call for all of us to put another layer of protection on our sensitive online accounts. As a general rule of thumb, if your password is easy for you to remember, then it’s just as easy for a hacker to figure out. If you’re using the same password for all your stuff, then once someone figures out how to get into one account, they can gain access to everything — from your selfies to your moneys. No bueno.
The first step in any online security plan is picking unique and difficult-to-crack passwords for all your accounts. Luckily, there's a new tool to help you make those passwords — and keep up with them, too. Meet Master Password, the free app that puts your accounts on lockdown. The passwords it creates are so secure, in fact, that you’ll need to use the app to remember them.

How does it work?

So you don't have to remember five different iterations of "vneqpoihwef;jnds!" Master Password creates and stores all your super-secret codes behind one complicated “master password” you create on your own. Then, when you want to access your email/social media/bank account, just log into Master Password first and copy and paste your secure password into whatever account you need to access. Master Password is available for iPhone, Android, and the web — and the company just released a Mac app for OS X, so you can get access no matter what device you’re using.

Unlike some other apps that store your complicated passwords in an online vault, MasterPassword creates its codes based on your name, master password, and the site you’re trying to access, using a special algorithm. That means you don’t have to sync your account across devices, and you don’t need Internet access in order to generate a new password — or access one you’ve already created.

Is there any downside?

Yes. First, if you forget your master password, you’re pretty screwed. Similarly, if someone figures out what your master password is, they then have access to everything. So, along with using a secure password, we also recommend enabling two-step verification on your accounts. This means you'll get a secret, numerical code via text whenever you try to log in, and you’ll have to input that code into the site along with your password. That way, for someone to hack your Master Password account, they’ll have to steal your password and your phone.

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