Should I use a password manager?


  • 01 Jun 2019
  • Business Security, Data Breaches, Web Applications

Passwords are cumbersome and hard to remember, and just when you did, you’re told to change it again. Sometimes passwords can be guessed and are easily hackable.

Nobody likes passwords but they’re a fact of life. And while some have tried to kill them off by replacing them with fingerprints and face-scanning technology, neither are perfect and many still resort back to the trusty, but frustrating password.

So how do you make them better? Well, you could use a password manager.

Password managers, what are they?

You can think of a password manager like the sole gatekeeper to all of your passwords. Generally you will be using one master password, a strong complex password that is extremely unlikely to be cracked.

Password managers allow you to store unique, complex passwords for each account. The best part about this deal is you quite literally just right click on the account within your password manager. “Open URL” “Copy password to clipboard” and paste, that’s it. It’s much simpler than trying to recall all of your passwords, or better yet reusing the weak password for all accounts; which is what most people do. Some password managers also come with browser extensions which allow you to automatically fill the username and password field without having to navigate to the site.

Key components of password managers that should help you decide:

  • Seamlessly copy and paste secure passwords. (Not saved to clipboard after pasting)
  • Single secure password that’s unlikely to be guessed by anyone.
  • Passwords are stored in an encrypted file safe on the machine.
  • The vast majority of the password managers are cross-platform and available on a whole host of devices.
  • No more weak passwords.

 

All you eggs in one basket

Some might consider password managers a bad idea, as if this account gets hacked they have access to everything, and in some cases this might be correct. However, for the vast majority of people who re-use weak passwords across multiple accounts so for these people password managers are a good idea. Password managers also are also very proactive in making sure their systems are secure for this exact reason.

Which password manager should you use?

The research has shown password managers can improve your cyber health. Password managers come with there own unique features, 1Password for instance. Integrates with HaveIBeenPwned to let you know if your password has been previously leaked or exposed in a data breach. These types of features are fantastic for the user, it’s really your own choice on which one you should use.

Some have features which are more relevant to business people, or families. I would strongly advise you conduct your own research Medium conducted some research into password managers which might help you make your decision.

If you don’t feel like paying for a password manager. I would advise using PWSAFE by Bruce Schneier. It’s supported by multiple devices alongside being verified to be cryptographically secure. I hope this article has cleared some of the questions about password managers and how they can be useful to people.

Passwords need to be complex and this makes them hard to remember. Is using a password manager putting all your eggs in one basket or the best thing you can do.


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