These days it seems like we have passwords for everything. Between online banking, social media, work, online shopping and more, it can be difficult to keep track of all your passwords, and tempting to re-use the same ones, which is one of the worst practices for password security. Instead, using a password manager may make your digital life profoundly easier.
Password security is more important than ever, with large-scale hacking and security breaches becoming ever more common. Password managers give you one place to maintain and store all of your credentials, granting benefits such as :
- Convenience – Password managers often feature browser plugins and mobile apps that can automatically log you in to your services without having to type in your credentials at all. This behaves much like when you save a password into your browser history, although it is far more secure and convenient, as it encrypts your passwords and allows you to synchronize your entire credential "vault" across as many devices as you like.
- Security – Keeping all your credentials in this one encrypted vault, accessible from anywhere, means you only really have to remember one master password to keep all your credentials safe. Furthermore, with two-factor authentication, even if someone got access to your master password, they can't use it to log into your vault without your approval first. If someone even attempted to, you'd be immediately notified.
- Monitoring – Automatic security checks let you run tests on your vault to see if you have passwords that are easy to crack, frequently used, duplicated across services, or otherwise vulnerable to compromise. This helps you have passwords that are easy for you to remember, but difficult for hackers to crack.
- Management – Generating secure passwords means you don't even need to remember those passwords. Most password managers will let you auto-generate, store and auto-login secure passwords for your services.
For both security and convenience, you can see why using a password manager is a better choice than keeping your passwords stored in your email or scribbled down in a notepad. Most offer a free version that you can choose to upgrade to get more functionality for a small annual fee. To get started, take a look at some that we have used and recommend:
Check here for more well-reviewed managers and a feature comparison.