What is a password manager and why do you need it?

Mon Apr 01 2019 - 6 min read

Passwords. Passwords everywhere. Virtually every website, social media platform, or banking service you use online requires a password. The more complex and secure - the better. Of course, on top of that, you also have to remember them all.

And we already hear you sighing.

Unless you are blessed with enviable memory, it is impossible to remember all those mixed-case, alphanumeric, special-character inclusive, lengthy, random passwords. Some of your friends probably use the same password on every site - simple and easy! Except for the fact that those folks are an easy catch for hackers. And if you use the same password on many websites, the chance of security breach increases significantly. If your logins get exposed, you may lose them all.

This is where password managers come in. Not only do they generate and safeguard all your passwords and sensitive information, but also save plenty of your precious time.

Why you shouldn’t reuse passwords

If an attacker steals your credentials and gains access to your account, they can also log into every other account that uses the same password. The more such sites they can find, the more of your private information is in danger.

Let’s say your password is compromised on LinkedIn or Facebook. It is only a matter of time before the thief can try that same password on other common sites, such as banks and financial services like Paypal.

While the vast majority of users know password reuse is a bad thing, they still continue to do it. A survey carried out by Digital Guardian reveals some interesting numbers:

  • 61% of people admitted to using their passwords across multiple websites;

  • 44% of consumers change their password only once a year or less;

  • 1 out of 5 US user has had their online account compromised.

So we have some good and bad news for you.

The bad one is that there are literally too many passwords to remember them all. And the good one: you don't need to remember them all - try using a password manager instead.

What does a password manager do?

A password manager helps you create strong and unique passwords, store them in one convenient location, and fill in your login information.

In most cases, password managers come with browser extensions that fill in the passwords and other login details for you. When you log in to a secure site, it offers to save your credentials. When you return to that site, it offers to fill in those credentials automatically.

The best part is that you only need to remember one master’s password. That single password will give you access to all the rest. Many password managers also offer an extra layer of protection - a fingerprint lock or two-factor authentication for accessing your password vault.

Benefits of using a password manager

Using a password manager will not only solve the problem of remembering all the logins and passwords. It will also help you stay in control of your cybersecurity by generating strong passwords and storing them.

Once you sign up for a password manager, you can install a browser extension. It will autofill the login credentials for you and keep the secure. Instead of letting your web browser save your form information, entrust your password manager to store your personal information safely.

Most of the password managers also offer additional useful features, like keeping your secret notes, answers to security questions, Wi-Fi passwords, or everything else that matters.

Finally, the vast majority of password managers provide access across multiple devices. It means that you can reach your passwords anytime, anywhere.

Monica Webster
Verified author
Monica is the spirit of our content team. Her bubbliness and creativity sparkle her articles. She loves to investigate various security related problems and bring useful tips to readers. When she is not writing about technology, she explores art.
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