Whenever I learn someone has never heard of a password manager, I instantly become eager to teach them about the tool because it truly is a game changer when it comes to managing all your passwords.
Especially if you follow expert advice and create complex passwords unique to each account you own and never write them down, keeping track of so many logins can be quite the challenge. Here’s an overview of how password managers work to provide a solution to this challenge and why you should use one.
How Password Managers Work
A password manager is a tool that comes in the form of an app on your phone and a plugin on your computer browser that helps you with the following password-related tasks:
- Generating random, complex passwords for your various online accounts, including online banking, social media and any other website
- Storing all these passwords in a “vault” so you don’t have to remember each one
- Auto filling login credentials when you visit websites with saved information in your vault
- Creating multi-factor authentication system requiring you to confirm access via an access code, text or call sent to your phone for an added layer of security
Password managers store all this information securely with end-to-end encryption, making it a safer option compared to simply saving login information in a web browser. Additionally, password managers can also save non-password information, such as credit card numbers, PINs, answers to security questions and more.
The tool does all this work and only requires you to memorize a master password to access the tool and your vault. I always recommend a master password be very complex so they’re hard to break but also easy enough to remember. After all, you will need this one password to unlock access to all the others. Find tips for creating a strong password in this article.
Why You Should Use a Password Manager
If there’s one common consumer habit hackers take advantage of every day, it’s reusing passwords. Often when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports on a breach, they disclose that a hacker was able to access many accounts and a large amount of information because they were able to hack one password. While this news is always disappointing, it’s understandable that the average person cannot memorize 30+ unique, complex passwords. This is where password managers come in.
Password managers can even help keep your work, school and personal online accounts separate since many come with a “folders” feature. This allows you to use one password manager for all your accounts and throughout many phases of your life.
Our digital footprints are becoming larger each year, and the number of accounts and transactions that take place online is increasing rapidly. That’s why it’s becoming even more important to get organized with security tools that keep information safe.
If you’re interested in learning about keeping your social media profiles secure, the warning signs of trending scams or any other security-related topic, be sure to explore the articles at the bottom of this page.