It’s the season for second editions, and hot on the heels of my updated Dropbox book, Take Control Books has released a new edition of Take Control of Your Passwords. This book is my complete guide to understanding how passwords work and dealing with the many frustrations they involve—with as little inconvenience as possible. Passwords are a pain, but they aren’t going away any time soon, and the better you understand the risks and your options for dealing with them, the safer you’ll be.
This book grew by 44 pages in its second edition. Quite a lot has happened in the world of digital security in the past couple of years, and this book now brings you up to date with the latest technologies and advice. In particular, I say a great deal more about two-factor authentication (and its close relative, two-step verification), an increasingly common way to supplement an ordinary password with extra security by requiring a secondary code or other confirmation when you log in. I also describe new gadgets, apps, and services that are designed to reduce password pain in various ways, provide a more accurate description of entropy (a measure of how hard it is to guess a password), and even include an appendix explaining the simple math you can use to calculate entropy yourself.
Because a password manager is an essential component of any solid password strategy, I’ve updated and expanded the discussions of 1Password and LastPass and added descriptions of four password managers that the previous edition of the book didn’t cover. I also detail more features that are worth thinking about, such as support for iOS browsers, Apple Watch, one-time passwords, and U2F (universal two-factor) authentication.
Take Control of Your Passwords costs $15, but anyone who had the first edition can upgrade at a discount (click Ebook Extras on the cover for details).
Here’s my MacVoices interview about the book: