How to secure your online accounts using a password manager

Data security is a hot topic right now! Here’s how you can secure your online accounts to protect yourself from hackers, and minimise impacts of a data breach.

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple shield emoji, in front of a green zig zag shape across the bottom of the image

Secure your online accounts

Here’s a short (8min) video on how to secure your online accounts:

8 Easy Steps to Data Security

  1. Check yo self
  2. Sign up for a password manager
  3. Download the app(s)
  4. Get the browser extension(s)
  5. Setup two-factor authentication
  6. Categorise and share
  7. Get setup
  8. Level up

1. Check yo self

Go to https://haveibeenpwned.com to see if your email has been involved in any major known data breaches.

A screenshot of the 'Have I Been Pwned' website which says "Check if your email or phone is in a data breach"
The ‘have i been pwned?’ website

2. Sign up for a password manager

Ideally something like 1Password, Lastpass, Dashlane, Bitwarden, Roboform, Sticky Password or Keeper, if you can afford it.

(The free Apple keychain or in-browser services are the next best thing, although these may be less secure and passwords can’t always be shared across devices.)

A comparison table for the major password manager services
Password manager comparison table

3. Download the app(s)

So you can access passwords via any of your devices (eg. across your phone and computer).

The 1Password iPhone app icon
The 1Password iPhone app

4. Get the browser extension(s)

Activate for any browsers you use, like Chrome or Safari, and it will suggest a password to autofill based on the website URL.

The 1Password browser extension showing an autofill selection for Facebook
The 1Password browser extension
The Gmail login screen showing the password manager's suggested autofill
The Twitter login screen showing the password manager's suggested autofill
A WordPress login screen showing the password manager's suggested autofill

5. Setup two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security — for details on how to set this up, check out our other post: How to setup two-factor authentication with the Google Authenticator app

Screenshot of the Google Authenticator app screen showing different website names, each with a large numerical code underneath
The Google Authenticator app

6. Categorise and share

If you have a lot of passwords, you can group these using tags, or share these with others within the password manager app.

A screenshot of the 1Password interface, showing various logins under the 'Producing Paradise' tag
1Password: password manager

7. Get setup

  • You’ll only need one password to access your password manager — make it something you enjoy typing, and ‘unguessable’
  • Choose a different password for every account don’t use the same password twice!
  • As you add each password, it’s a good opportunity to change it
The one password entry screen which says 'Enter your password'
The 1Password entry screen

8. Level up

  • Check the URL before logging into a familiar site — a fake site may only have one letter different to the ‘real’ one!
  • Check the URL before clicking any link by hovering over it
  • Use an email alias when signing up for any account — e.g. [yourname]-instagram@gmail.com will send mail to [yourname]@gmail.com
The real Facebook URL
A fake Facebook URL

Once you’ve got this system in place, it’s a good idea to turn off the autofill any other services (and delete any saved passwords from those) — so your password manager is the only place managing ALL of your passwords.

Happy password managing!

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