Using a password manager can help you better organize and secure your passwords. Unfortunately, however, not every password manager is created equal. Many modern web browsers come complete with their own password manager or similar tools, and most web users assume they’re secure enough to do the job; but are they?
In this guide, we’ll cover why we should all be using password managers to keep our passwords safe and to curate better passwords overall. We’ll also discuss some of the drawbacks of your browser’s built-in password manager, and why an online password manager is a better option. Don’t put your passwords at risk!
Why Do I Need A Password Manager?
How many online accounts do you think you might have? Ten? Fifteen? Two dozen? In our modern world, everything revolves around a web connection. Apps, accounts, etc., are abundant, and everything seems to want us to “sign up”. You’ve got login credentials for your bank accounts, streaming services, social media accounts, online shopping accounts, and more. The average person as at least a dozen or more passwords to keep track of.
Now, the real question: how are you keeping track of all this information? Are your passwords and usernames stored in a note on your phone or computer? Do you have them written down somewhere and stuffed in a book? Or did you simply use the same password for all 23 online accounts (yikes)?
So, the question remains, why do I need a password manager? There are three very important reasons why everyone should use a password manager.
Security: Truth be told, storing your passwords in an old book on a piece of notebook paper is just as dangerous as storing them in an unencrypted Word document on your phone/laptop. Protecting your passwords should be a top priority, as one compromised password can have a ripple effect.
Imagine if someone got ahold of something like your Netflix password. No big deal, right? They get to watch a free few shows, you change the password, and everything goes back to normal…except it doesn’t. The next day, you notice a dozen new charges on your credit card. Where did those come from? Well, you’re probably paying for Netflix, right? That means the card was linked to your account, and now someone else has access to it.
Password managers are heavily encrypted and much more secure than a piece of paper or a Word document. You’ll get end-to-end encryption, and most apps allow you to set up two-step verification.
Organization: A password manager’s interface is one of its best features. Each password and username is organized in its own section by website, allowing for easy edits, tidy organization, and access at a glance. Stop fumbling around for old passwords; get them stored in a password manager!
Curating Better Passwords: Many password managers include a powerful tool: the password generator. This can help you stop using the same old passwords and increase the security of new passwords.
Browser Password Manager
While it’s certainly better to use your browser’s password manager than to use nothing, it’s still not ideal. The problem with browser managers is that they’re simply not as secure as third-party programs. A browser’s main purpose is to provide a safe and secure platform for web browsing. Protecting passwords is its secondary function. For maximum protection, you want to use a program whose primary function is protecting passwords.
Not to mention, your browser’s password manager is a pretty limited feature. With third-party software, you can easily store and manage hundreds of passwords, create new ones, get a rating for your new passwords, write notes and PINs, and organize everything in an interface that’s both easy to use and understand.
The bottom line here is that you’ll never get the same level of quality from a browser password manager.
A good password can mean the difference between keeping all of your private information safe and having your entire identity stolen. You’d be amazed at what hackers can do with just a little bit of your personal information. If your passwords contain personal information like names, birthdays or other significant dates, addresses, etc., a hacker would only need to know this very public information to figure out all of your passwords!
Protecting your passwords should be a much higher priority than it seems to be. People give out their passwords to streaming services and other websites freely to friends and family, but you should use caution when doing so.
You can give out your password to one person, and the next thing you know, there are three other people using your Netflix account. That’s four people that now can see your credit card number and other account information! Be careful when giving out your passwords, or better yet…don’t!