With all of the changes in work environments and the increase in online and in-app shopping, there is a good chance you’ve added some new account logins to your already extensive roster. It’s safe to guess you have probably recycled the same two passwords, making minor tweaks to each to keep from using the exact same password over and over. You probably know this isn’t a very strong security measure, but likely aren’t sure how to remedy this aside from keeping an ongoing list of usernames and passwords. Let us introduce you to password managers.
A password manager is typically an encrypted, cloud-based storage service that will store your logins, passwords, security questions, credit card information, personal notes, tax identification information, and often will generate strong and unique passwords to add to your virtual security. Often these services will accommodate multiple platforms (PCs, Smartphones, Tablets, Browser Extensions, Etc.) with a master password. Many password managers offer more services than just saving passwords; this is something to keep in mind when researching what service best fits your needs. Sounds simple, right?
Find Your Fit
It’s worth finding a service that can protect your work passwords and your personal passwords, too. It’s safe to say you’ve probably logged in and made a quick purchase once or twice when working, so using a password manager isn’t strictly just for work. PCMag.com has compiled a “Best Of” list for 2020, where you can compare which password manager will best fit your needs. Some of these are free or have limited features for free. We recommend you spend some time comparing and considering which service best fits your needs.
Use with Caution
There are some risks of storing all of your logins and passwords in one place, however, picking a service with encryption and even multiple types of encryption will help to mitigate the risk. Even if you subscribe to one of these password manager services and somehow there is a data breach, the heavy encryption most services use will make it even more less-likely for your passwords to actually be captured. It’s also key to change your master password every 30-90 days. There is no way to guarantee 100% security in today’s world, but most of these services are basing their brand on security.
To ensure you’re protecting not only your data but also your company’s or family’s data is to make clear the definite benefits of using password manager services. If you spend the money for the service, but you’re the only one actively using it, it can leave you compromised by association. Do you work in a highly-regulated sector? Are you dealing with client’s sensitive and personal data? Implementing a password management service may be one way to streamline protocol and maintaining a high level of security for your clients. While every service or app manages your data differently, the odds are they are doing it far more securely than you could do on your own.