This should go without saying. Unfortunately, it does need to be repeated over and over.
You need to use a password manager. Why? Let me cut to the chase and give you five good reasons.
1. Your passwords are too simple.
This is the biggest reason, bar none. If you’re using passwords that you can easily remember (such as password, password123, happyhappyjoyjoy, etc.) you’re at risk. Why? Simple passwords are easier to crack. With the right tools (and enough horsepower) a hacker can crack those simple passwords in seconds or minutes. Because of this, you want to make sure that the passwords you use are hard (if not impossible) to remember. A good rule of thumb is that if you can easily remember a password, it’s probably easy to crack. The harder that password is to remember, the harder it is to crack. So when you use such difficult passwords, you need a vault to house them. That’s where the password manager comes into play.
SEE: Windows 10 security: A guide for business leaders (Tech Pro Research)
2. Password managers include random password generators.
Speaking of complicated passwords, you shouldn’t try to come up with complicated passwords on your own, or you’ll wind up with variations on your usual theme. Instead, you need a password manager that includes a random password generator to create very complicated passwords. Some password managers, such as Enpass, allow you to configure how complicated the password is. With these tools you can generate passwords that are 20 random characters long or even unpronounceable, random phrases. Make use of these tools, and your passwords will be very complicated and, therefore, strong.
3. You only need to remember one password.
With a password manager, you only need to remember one password—the one used to gain access to your stored passwords. With this in place, you don’t have to worry about remembering all those new and highly complex passwords generated by the manager. Open the managing tool, type your vault password, and locate the password you need. The one caveat to this is to make sure your vault password isn’t simple. It doesn’t need to be overly complex, just not obvious.
4. The numbers are against you.
How many accounts do you have which require a password? Tens? Hundreds? The more accounts you have, the more likely the numbers are against you. Because of this, you probably use the same password for everything, which is a HUGE no no. You must use different passwords for every account. With that many different passwords, how are you going to remember them? You’re not (especially if those passwords are complicated). That’s another big reason to use a password manager.
SEE: Password managers: How and why to use them (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
5. Passwords will always be at the ready with device syncing.
Some password managers allow you to sync your password database across all of your devices. With this feature, you can access to your passwords on your desktop, your laptop, and your mobile devices. This way you always have your passwords at the ready. If you opt to use this feature, make sure you have your password database encrypted with a strong password. The last thing you need is for a bad actor to intercept your database and crack it via brute force.
Bonus reason: It’s the wise thing to do.
Yes, using a password manager does add a step or two to the log-in process. But when your data and security is at risk, those extra steps are worth it. With each passing day you continue counting on those simple passwords, you run the risk of data theft. Be wise and use a password manager … before it’s too late.