Most of us today have countless electronic accounts and with these a dizzying number of passwords to remember. Though there are many ways to store and remember passwords, some are definitely better than others. A password manager is one tool that can make this process easier and ensure that your stored passwords are secure.
What is a Password Manager, and what does it do?
Password managers are programs designed to help manage your accounts. To use one, you need to only remember one strong master password. Then the password manager stores as many usernames and passwords as needed in your own secure encrypted vault. Many password managers even have a ‘secure notes’ feature, which is basically a secure electronic notepad for writing down your passwords.
Why should I use a Password Manager?
Password managers do the heavy lifting of remembering all of your passwords for you and eliminate the possibility of locking yourself out of your account because you can't recall the password. They also make it easy to have unique passwords across accounts. Having unique passwords increases overall account security, making it more difficult for someone to hack into, or take control of accounts.
Beyond the convenience factor, password managers take the place of less secure password storage methods such as Excel spreadsheets or Word documents (even if password protected, these can be risky), Outlook notes, or physically storing passwords on paper or in notebooks.
How do I choose a Password Manager?
Reliable tech media sources such as PC Mag, TechRadar, CNET or Tom’s Guide offer annual rankings of password managers and their features and are a great place to do the research to select one that will best suit your needs.
Why not take a few minutes today to research, select and set up a password manager? This valuable resource could potentially save you hours in lost time re-setting forgotten passwords or re-setting locked accounts. Taking a step to proactively protect your passwords can offer peace of mind in our overly busy days.