We use passwords all the time – for access to our computers, for access to a variety of online activities and for access to various computer programs and services.
Life Hacker gives you something to think about and how to take action to better protect your passwords from hackers:
If you allow applications to save your passwords, anyone with physical access to your PC can decode them unless you’re properly encrypting them—and chances are pretty good you’re not. Let’s walk through the right and wrong ways to store your passwords.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll assume that the people you allow into your house are trustworthy enough not to hack your passwords, and your laptop has been stolen instead—but the tips here should apply to either scenario. Regardless of how you choose to save your passwords, you should make sure to use great passwords and even stronger answers for security questions.
Almost any application that requires you to login to something will also provide an option to save your password, and once you’ve done that, your password may as well be plain text. Behind the scenes, even if the application encrypts the account information, it’s doing so with a static key that can be easily deciphered through some reverse engineering, and somebody not only can, but already has created a utility to recover those passwords.
Read the full article here.