Password managers are a necessity for internet users looking to secure their data across various platforms, applications and sites.
The most basic method of ensuring the safety of your information online is with a different, complex password for every site you visit, especially for those with which you have entrusted your financial or personal information. “Password” and “password123” just aren’t going to cut it in this modern era of brute-force hacks, key-loggers, and hackers with nothing better to do than to see how strong your password actually is and exactly how many sites you’ve used it on.
Complex and unique passwords for each site with different types of characters are useful for anyone looking to remain the sole owner of their personal information. Unless you are a memorization champion, however, all those letters, numbers and symbols will start to blur together at some point and you may find yourself trying to remember the complex password to an email account so that you can follow a link to set up a new complex password on a website for which you can’t recall the previous complex password you used to access it.
Alternatively, you may find yourself surrounded by so many post-it notes with passwords that you will be single-handedly keeping a stationery store in business and making your monitor look like an electronic sunflower in the process. This method also involves leaving physical copies of all your passwords at your desk where anyone, brother, butler, or burglar, can have access to your information more easily than any hacker. Certainly, they and others would thank you for being so kind as to write all of your passwords down and leaving them out.
If memorization or post-it plastering doesn’t appeal to you, there is an easier and safer option: password managers. These applications help you manage the plethora of passwords and personal information that plague your plunge into the web by securing your data in a single location and program. Once you’ve installed a password manager and taught it all of your current logins you can then go back and use the password manager to generate new, unique, passwords made-up of differing and random characters.
Unlike the post-it option, password managers typically integrate easily into your life as they usually come in the form of browser plug-ins. This allows password managers to auto-fill your credentials and even your personal information into your website of choice rather than that information is stored in the company or site’s server where it will be susceptible to site hacks rather than a personal one. Most password managers will also allow you to save multiple sets of credentials for each site if, say, for instance, you wanted to like your own Facebook post on a secondary account.
High-end password managers will even allow you to sync passwords across devices, and offer methods of transferring your passwords and login information in the case of your untimely demise. These services are generally associated with password manager programs that charge fees for access to better features. There are however numerous free password manager programs available that aren’t quite as heavy on the bells and whistles, but adequately do the job of helping you randomize and then keep up with, your passwords.
So if you are concerned about the safety of your personal information online, try a password manager today and ensure that it and you are properly protected.