Password Managers: Risks and Benefits
What is a Password Manager?
A password manager is a program that stores online account login information. There is a single master password that protects the user name and password of each account saved in the program. It’s an excellent way to save account information without having to memorize multiple passwords or reuse the same password across multiple accounts. But the risk here is obvious: if a hacker gains access to your master password, every single associated account is compromised.
Are Password Managers Safe?
Any information you share online is subject to a certain level of risk. Hackers are always looking for ways to crack an account and the companies are always looking for a way to stop a cyber break-in. The only way to be 100% safe is to have no online presence and, in today’s world, that’s an extremely difficult route to take.
A recent study delved into security flaws of five popular password managers. There is no doubt flaws exist. Ask yourself: would you stop wearing sunscreen because it doesn’t protect you 100% from skin cancer? The real question is are you safer with or without a password manager?
The answer is you are most certainly safer WITH a password manager. A password manager allows you to avoid the reuse of passwords or use of very common, easy-to-crack passwords, which is a much more likely danger. After all, hackers are looking for the low-hanging fruit. Password manager companies are expected to maintain high security standards. After all, their entire business model rests on their ability to keep data safe. Using a password manager is far safer than using ‘password85’ for your banking, Facebook, and work accounts!
Choosing the Right Password Manager
Since your password manager will protect all of your accounts, choosing a company that has a very strong security focus is key. Do your research to find the password manager that works for you. Several options are mentioned in this article. Also consider keeping your most sensitive accounts, such as banking or tax service accounts, out of your password manager. Use our Four Step Methodology to create and remember a strong password.