A password manager (opens in new tab) is a wonderfully efficient way to manage all your login credentials for multiple accounts. Hence, considering how many of us have many of passwords and seemingly endless arrays of places we need to gain access online, the password manager has to be one of the most practical computing solutions ever devised.
Arming yourself with a password manager app allows you to store all your passwords in one easy-to-access place and eliminates the need to remember them all. Pretty handy considering some of us can have around a hundred credentials on average. You can also get password manager software for any type of device, from smartphones (opens in new tab) and tablets (opens in new tab) to laptops (opens in new tab) and desktop computers (opens in new tab).
Manage all your passwords
The other bonus to using password manager software is that it can handle your personal login credentials as well as those at work. Plus, you’ll be less likely to have to use the same password more than once, which is always a bad idea for security reasons, although it makes your life easier to access these commonly used places online.
Cyber criminals are quick to exploit this habit and use such vulnerabilities not only to acquire thousands of stolen passwords online but also to hack accounts. If you’re not careful about the security of your password and other login details, you can put yourself in a dangerous position. Even if you take great care to keep your passwords dynamic—like changing them frequently—and are extremely careful with credentials, there is always a risk of a security breach.
Connected devices have passwords
Having so many more connected devices has only compounded the problem as many of us have IoT devices at home or in the office. Many of them have poor security or have not updated their default passwords occasionally, if at all. Anything connected could be a gateway for cybercriminals. Therefore, a password manager not only seems like a good idea, but becomes practically indispensable.
Of course, when you log into many new websites and services, you often have to come up with a great new password. You will be asked to use a variety of letters and characters. The system you set up a login for will invariably tell you if you’ve managed to create a good login or even a great one. Unfortunately, unless your password manager can take the weight, it’s another one to add to the stack.
Password Manager Benefits
So the benefits of a password manager are many. You don’t have to remember multiple passwords at first, but the software can also act as a password generator (opens in new tab)to help create better ones as well. A password manager can also help identify phishing sites and clear up a digital legacy. This simplifies the process of passing credentials to loved ones in the event you pass away.
There’s also the convenience factor of having a password manager system, especially when you work across a variety of devices, computers, and operating systems. The best password manager can let you do all of these things with the freedom of being compatible with a wide range of web browsers too. The icing on the cake is that a password manager can help protect you from identity theft.
Is a password manager really secure?
Any computer system can be hacked, but password manager software has been known to use military-grade encryption. That makes the chances of your password manager being cracked extremely unlikely. There are also different types of password managers, including those that are desktop-based and store your data locally in an encrypted vault.
Another option is to enlist the services of a cloud-based password manager by installing a desktop app, a mobile variant of the theme, or simply a web browser extension. Being cloud-based means your password data is stored remotely on a service provider system.
Is there an even simpler solution?
Many companies prefer single sign-on (opens in new tab) or SSO route for employee accounts, as opposed to using a specific password manager app. This is useful in that it allows employees to log in with a password, allowing them to access software and applications quickly and easily. This method is also seen by many business owners as an efficient way to lighten the workload of pressured IT departments who may spend much of their time helping employees with lost or forgotten passwords.
Using a password manager
Getting a password manager and configuring it to make your login life easier couldn’t be easier. However, no matter how good your password manager app is, it’s always a good idea to create new ones whenever you need them. In fact, why not let password manager software take the burden and do it for you. The software is designed to create strong passwords whenever you need them, and all you have to do is have a master password – and remember it.
For extra security, you should also enable two-factor authentication (2FA) or better yet, multi-factor authentication (MFA) to make things even more secure. It’s standard practice for many people who use email (opens in new tab) on their smartphones, and the same care should be taken when setting up your password manager software.
Free or Paid Password Manager?
Skimping on security is never a good idea, especially when you have a lot of personal information on hand that could cause you immeasurable pain if compromised. There are free password manager options, but as with anything that doesn’t have a price, there are trade-offs.
This could mean fewer features or annoying freemium features like built-in ads. Worse, this free password manager that seems too good to be true could be just that. At worst, it might not be quite as secure as you’d like it to be. Ditch the false frugality and spend some money on a tried and trusted password manager solution – it will be worth it.
We’ve featured the best password managers for business (opens in new tab).