Why People (Don't) Use Password Managers Effectively
In this day and age, cybersecurity should be the top priority for everyone.
10:02 04 June 2021
And proper cyber protection starts with a password. Some of you might remember the days when it was perfectly okay to use short passwords containing letters only. These practices need to stay in the past.
Now, you need to think up a unique and strong password that will make things a lot harder for anyone trying to break into your account. Strong often means complicated since you should use symbols, numbers, etc. Plus, experts advise that you use a different password for each of your accounts. As you can see, it might get exhausting to remember all of your credentials.
It is where password managers come into play. These nifty tools are simple to use and will keep all of your login information in one place.
The Dangers of Reusing the Same Password
Data leaks are a gold mine for hackers. These security breaches happen more often than we think. After all, 500 million Yahoo users had to change their passwords at one point. Once your username, email, and password find their way onto the web, chances are someone will try to exploit them. So if you have been using the same password for ages, all of your accounts are in danger. Hackers will first target your financials, which could be a huge problem.
Is there a way to prevent this? Absolutely! But it involves coming up with a brand new password every time you create a new account. Plus, it needs to be unique and hard to guess. Of course, this can be a problem because not everyone can memorize dozens of different passwords. You could create a system or use a password manager.
How Do Password Managers Work
Creating a strong password on the spot could be an issue for many of us. They need to be lengthy and complicated. It immediately creates pressure on users. Password managers generate a random password every time you make a new account, so you don't have to rack your brain thinking about various combinations. Each password will be unique, and this will come in handy in case of a data leak.
Password managers are essentially apps that create and store your credentials. The best part is that you can add them to a browser of your choice. For instance, if you use Chrome, install a password manager, and you are good to go. Now you might be wondering if someone who decides to use your computer can see all of your saved passwords inyour password manager. The answer is no.
While a password manager can store hundreds of your credentials, and you don’t have to memorize any of them, you still have to learn one password – the one that gives you access to your password manager. This one is called master password. You need it to see and use all of the saved login details on your computer. Again, you have to come up with a good password that is hard to guess. So avoid using your birthday, the name of your pet, your favorite singer, or anything from your social media accounts.
Setting Up A Password Manager
Once you decide to use a password manager, you need to set it up. But don’t worry because password managers usually do all the work for you. The vital step is finding out where all of your credentials are currently stored. Most of us already have a built-in browser password manager, so start there. The majority of password managers will import these automatically, but some require you to do the job. Apple users also have the Keychain app that collects the credentials.
Of course, there is no need to transfer all of your passwords at once if the auto-import option is not available. You can do so as you browse the web. Every time you log in somewhere, the password manager will ask for permission to remember your username and password. So you will cover your most-used websites in just a couple of days.
Some of us like to be old school and write down passwords into a notebook. It might not be the safest thing to do, but it is still something. Of course, leave a notebook containing your passwords at home or somewhere safe. If you happen to have all of your credentials on paper, get ready to do some manual work. After all, you will need to type in every password you have.