Yes. Yes. 100% yes, you should use a password manager.
"Wait, what - a password manager? You mean an app on my phone or laptop that helps me generate and remember complex passwords for each one of my accounts?"
Yes, exactly. Here's 6 reasons why you should use one:
1. You're not going to be able to remember unique, complex passwords for each one of your accounts.
2. Since you can't do #1, you'll repeat passwords, making it easier for hackers that gain access to one password to be able to access your other accounts.
3. Passwords are our first line of defense to protecting our online accounts and devices, which is why it's so important to create unique, strong passwords. Password managers help with this by auto-creating long, unique passwords with different length and character requirements instantly instead of trying to create them yourself.
4. Many password managers let you securely share passwords with family members, friends, or coworkers - instead of emailing them or texting them unencrypted.
5. Most have browser extensions or apps that will auto-fill passwords for you on websites and accounts you regularly log in.
6. Password managers are apps for your phone. You carry your phone around with you EVERYWHERE, so you'll always have ready access to your passwords.
"What's to keep hackers from targeting my password manager that stores all of my passwords?" Well, you'll have to remember one, long, unique password to lock down your password manager. Plus, nearly all password managers have two-factor authentication which is one of the most unhackable methods of locking down an account. Password managers aren't perfect, but remember, these companies' business is protecting your passwords. The good ones spend a lot of time and money locking down their apps and fix issues quickly.
And if the alternative means using short passwords or the same password for each account, it's best to trust the professionals.
Also, hackers usually want to get the most bang for their buck - so they'd rather spend their time trying to hack the server of a social media company server that stores hundreds of thousands of passwords instead of going after individuals' password managers.
Password managers can even help if hackers get a hold of such a server. Most good companies will encrypt stored passwords so hackers can't just download the plain text of our passwords. The way the encryption works is that if the hackers gain access, the shorter, simpler passwords will be cracked first. Password managers make it easy to create long, complex passwords to make it harder for hackers to crack your password.
So, your benefits to using password managers far outweigh the risks posed by relying upon them.
Here are some examples of password managers:
Do yourself a favor - let go of the guilt of trying to create and remember crazy passwords and let the password manager do the work for you. You'll finally feel confident in your online accounts' security.
- By Matt Lembright @mattlembright
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