Cyberspace grows scarier every day. No week goes by without a company, somewhere, announcing a major data breach. There is no argument that data breaches cost companies untold amount of money, not including damage to the brand. For consumers, data breaches can prove catastrophic in a variety of fashion and disrupt the well-oiled routine of our lives in unpredictable ways.
To make matters worse, we now live in a multi-password universe. I realized a year ago that I had subscriptions to about 290 websites and they all require authentication, which means I have 290 passwords. That’s crazy, I know. How am I supposed to curate such a large list of passwords and still remain sane enough to deal with the important life stuff?
In a less scary version of the cyber world, the answer would have been to use the same password for everything. And for the most sophisticated among us, managing passwords with a notebook will do the trick. Those solutions may work when you only have access to a handful of sites. However, they quickly become impractical as the number of sites you use continues to increase.
Hackers have gotten smarter. Nowadays, your birthday, your wife’s birthday, your kids’ middle name, and all the other usual suspects are no longer safe because we gave all that information away on social media. To stay safe, we need to innovate and create passwords that no one can crack and that we can remember. This is where password managers shine. If you are still on the fence about this, let me give you five reasons why you should make the jump.
1. They provide sanity
Password managers provide sanity. I can’t imagine myself trying to remember 290 passwords. Even if you don’t use that many websites, I can guarantee you that the number is much higher than you think. Between your bank, your Gym, your work, your healthcare provider, and every other system that you have to use for service, I have no doubt you are dealing with at least a dozen passwords. The good news is that you only have to remember one password, and that’s your master password.
2. They improve security
I was on a business trip to Paris a few years back. I lost my computer, more accurately, somebody stole it. Ordinarily, to prevent the thieves from taking control of your life and making you a powerless spectator, you have to reset every password to services that have access to your personal information. In my case, all I had to do was change the master password. It was a relief to only have to worry about one password. Even for the most disciplined people out there, it’s hard to remember every website you have ever visited. If you find out that your password is part of a data breach, it’s just as easy to change to a new password. And if like me you hate typing 25-character passwords, never typing one again is just a bonus. With password managers, you don’t have to type any password anymore. It’s now safe to log into your email on a plane. I still won’t do it but if you have to, with password managers, you safely can.
3. They come at a low cost
There are a number of password managers on the market. Some are free whereas others come with a subscription model. On average, you pay about $2/month if you want more advanced features. That’s insanely low for the peace of mind these password managers provide. The cost of not doing anything? Well, let’s just say you don’t want to find out.
4. They offer universal access
Wherever you go, your password manager comes along for the ride. Most people want to have access to their accounts wherever they are. With password managers, you can access your account from anywhere. Just fire up your browser, log into your manager and all of your passwords stand ready for action.
5. They make passwords easy to change
Needs to change a password? Just pop open the password generator and presto, your job is done. If you have ever tried to create a password that satisfies the 8 points that most websites are requiring these days, you’d appreciate how invaluable these tools are. When you update your password on any of the websites you visit, your password manager will prompt you to update the current password. Some of these tools can even automatically update your password on some websites at your request.
There are always new tools coming Online every day. As the risks on the Internet go higher, it has become imperative to protect the means by which you can confirm your identity. Weak passwords, repeated passwords, and other easily breakable or hackable passwords are no longer safe. The best way to make sure your password remains strong and can offer you some protection in case of a data breach is to use a password manager.