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PCS Mar 18, 2022 2 min read

Why We All Need a Password Manager

In most cases, it’s the installer’s use of a default password. Easy fix, right? This can be done by anyone, even if they are not technically skilled. Changing passwords and logging the info is one great non-technical improvement to your security posture.

Default passwords are just one of several errors people tend to make with their password security. Other common problems include obvious password choices, poorly stored passwords, and reused passwords across multiple accounts. These password red flags should be common knowledge thanks to frequent news stories about hackers. Unfortunately, though, year after year this problem does not seem to improve much.

It’s easy to understand why bad password hygiene exists. We are all busy, and most of us have dozens if not hundreds of accounts that need to have unique credentials. Until the day that passwords become a thing of the past, the simple answer to this problem is to use a password manager to securely store all your credentials and make proper handling of login info much easier.

Password manager programs store your passwords and other critical information within an encrypted vault. This setup only requires you to recall one difficult master password to recover your information. While a single access point might sound like a key that opens many castles, using multi-factor authentication (MFA) can help to keep your master password secure.

With a password manager handling the burden of remembering credentials, you’ll be able to use complicated and unique passwords across all your accounts, whether it’s six, sixty, or six hundred. That means a piece of your information showing up in a known breach will only require changing one credential. In most cases, the password manager will even fill the information in for you when it’s time to log into an account.

A web search will return a dizzying amount of password manager options--there are more than can possibly be discussed here. Commercial versions are available as are self-managed options. Most of these products are likely good, affordable choices.

Be sure to look for the following features:

  • Unlimited password storage
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Fingerprint or face recognition login
  • Unlimited devices & sync
  • Secure record sharing
  • Emergency access
  • Web browser integration
  • Web application
  • Strong password generation
  • Multi-platform pc and mobile device compatibility

The truth is that password managers can change the way you function online, making life simpler yet safer.  As with any security plan though, a password manager is only one piece of the big picture. Their setup will take little bit of time. However, if you take the time and use them in conjunction with measures like multi-factor authentication, frequent system updates, and antivirus, you will make the dreaded hacker’s job much more difficult.