Why We All Need a Password Manager

The more connected the world gets, the more vulnerable we become. For years many years now, there has a well-known website that collects and exposes thousands of insecure webcams from around the world. Anyone with web access can see these private camera streams. What lets the feeds be accessed so easily? 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 passwords. Other common problems include obvious password choices, poorly stored passwords, and reuse across multiple accounts. This should be common knowledge thanks to the frequent news stories. 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 should have unique credentials. Some great day, the solution will be that passwords have become a thing of the past. Luckily there is a simple answer to this problem in the meantime. A password manager can securely store all your credentials, and make proper handling of login info much, much easier.

Password manager programs keep your passwords and other critical info in 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 multifactor authentication 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 or sixty. That means a piece of your info showing up in a known breach will only require changing only one credential. In most cases, the password manager will even fill the info 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 in this article. Commercial versions are available, as are self-managed options. Most of the products are likely good, affordable choices.

Be sure to look for the following features:

  • Unlimited password storage
  • Multifactor 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 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, too. However, if you take the time and use them in conjunction with multi-factor authentication, frequent system updates, antivirus, and so on, you will make the dreaded hacker’s job much more difficult.