- Password managers are essential for online security, as 81% of company data breaches are caused by poor passwords and 17% of hacks are due to password guessing.
- Using a password manager saves time by eliminating the need to search for passwords and complete password resets.
- 1Password, Bitwarden, and Dashlane are among the best password managers available, offering various features and pricing options.
No matter what you do online, passwords are a way of life, and remembering all of your passwords can be difficult. More importantly, even if you can remember all of your passwords, there is a good chance you are using very weak passwords and using them on websites that should have very strong passwords.
Websites like banking, credit cards, and social media are just a few of the places online you should be using a strong password. Keeping your information safe should be top of mind, and this is why password managers have exploded in popularity over the last decade.
Let’s take a look at 7 reasons why you should be using a password manager today.
What is a Password Manager?
According to online studies, 81% of company data breaches are caused by poor passwords. The same reporting indicates that 17% of hacks have been done by hackers successfully guessing your password.
This is why it’s not okay to use a password like “Password123” or “12345789” for your most sensitive accounts. A password manager is the best way to stay secure by storing all of your login information and helping you create passwords that are extremely difficult to crack.
Password managers can also help you store credit, bank account information, and identification documents all in a secure environment.
Reason #1: Stop Remembering Passwords
The absolute best reason to use a password manager is that you no longer need to remember all of your passwords. This includes writing them down on a piece of paper or storing them in Word and Excel files on your computer. Instead, you can use a password manager, and now you have a tool where you can enter an almost endless stream of password information and quickly access all of these passwords anytime, anywhere, for any reason.
In the case of a password manager, you have one master password that you need to remember in order to access whichever password management software you choose. This password should be lengthy and include an array of characters, letters, and numbers to help secure it as the only password you ever have to remember again.
Reason #2: Auto-Fill Makes it Easy
Another huge advantage to using a password manager is that almost every tool offers a way to auto-fill all of your online credentials. Whether it’s through a browser plugin, an application on your computer, or a website, a password manager can help you auto-fill your password.
This process makes logging into both sensitive and non-sensitive online accounts almost seamless, which is great news for online security. Not only are you (hopefully) using a strong password through a password manager but you don’t need to remember it either.
Browsers like Safari, Chrome, Edge, and many others all work with the leading password manager tools with browser extensions, so it’s essentially one click to fill your password in and log into a website. Overall, auto-filling a password is likely to take less time than manually typing in a password you have saved either in your mind or on a notepad.
Reason #3: Generate Strong Passwords
A strong runner-up reason as to why you should be using a password manager is that randomly generating strong passwords can go a long way to protect you online. Instead of using a password like “Password,” you can go with something like “24Cheetah#&@_$!” and voila, you have a secure password that is unlikely to be cracked anytime in the next thousand years.
When you consider that you are storing or accessing critically important information online like your banking information, you should want the strongest password possible.
Password managers take the stress off having to create a strong password and will not only randomly generate the password, but will automatically log the data for you. This means that after you change the password through the website in question, the next time you come back to visit the website, you will be able to auto-fill your password in less than a few seconds. There is even a chance you may not know the password at all as a password manager tool does all of the heavy lifting for you, which is a great thing.
Reason #4: Works with Multiple Devices
When it comes to a password manager, you shouldn’t worry about the number of devices you own as these tools can access them all. Sometimes, accessing multiple apps requires a small monthly subscription, but with a password manager, this may be one of the best monthly subscriptions you will ever purchase.
Regardless of whether a subscription is required, you should rest assured you can access all of your passwords through a web browser, smartphone, and tablet. It doesn’t matter if you use a desktop or laptop, as long as your computer can access the internet, you are able to enjoy all of the benefits of a password manager.
Reason #5: Protect Your Data
Unfortunately, as much as they may claim to be good at password management, a web browser just isn’t the best way to safeguard sensitive login information. On the other hand, dedicated password manager tools like 1Password, Dashlane, and Bitwarden all offer bank-level encryption to protect your information.
The level of protection and encryption used to safeguard online access to your checking or savings accounts is identical to the level of protection used to prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to your passwords. Essentially, if you trust a banking website to keep your info safe, you should also trust a password manager.
Password manager tools can also provide you with additional layers of protection through the likes of two-factor authentication. This may require using something like a smartphone to confirm one extra identity layer before providing access to your account, but in doing so it adds to your peace of mind.
Using additional tools like 2FA through a password manager is just one more way to prevent someone from gaining unauthorized access to your banking website, social media logins, or any other favorite websites you visit online.
Reason #6: It’s User-Friendly
While setting up a password manager might seem daunting at first, they are actually super easy to select. These tools are designed to be user-friendly, making it easy for you to quickly adopt new and more secure passwords. This includes being able to log in to your currently used passwords and favorite websites as well as helping you navigate how to change those passwords.
Password managers such as 1Password offer features that can alert you when you use a weak password, when a website associated with a stored password has experienced an online security breach, and when you have multiple instances of duplicate passwords. It’s these ease-of-use tools that have helped password managers grow in popularity and become a mainstay of both casual and work-related computer use.
Reason #7: You’ll Save Time
As you can guess from being able to auto-fill your password from a password manager tool within seconds, saving time is a big theme of using a tool like 1Password or Dashlane. These tools make password management so easy that you should expect to free up time and not have to search for your passwords every time you want to log into a website.
This is especially true if you have not accessed a website in a while and don’t recall the password offhand. Instead of going through the process of completing a password reset, you will likely have the password stored in your password manager and can quickly log in and complete whatever task you wanted to accomplish.
Best Password Managers
Widely regarded as the absolutely best password manager available today, 1Password is a feature-rich option that offers features for just about everyone.
Whether it’s personal, business, or even enterprise-level password security needs, 1Password can do it all. Available for as little as $2.99 a month for an individual user or $4.99 monthly for families (up to 5 people), 1Password is an inexpensive yet easy way to get into using a password manager.
Every subscription enables access across all of your devices as well as storage for an unlimited number of items. These items can encompass passwords, credit card and bank account information, notes, cryptocurrency, medical records, driver’s license details, and even store information from your passport for emergency situations.
The price enables you to use 1Password across Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Safari as well as across Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, or even a command line. Ultimately, 1Password is the most complete password manager around and is an easy recommendation as the best-paid option.
If you want to look at a password manager that has no upfront costs, Bitwarden is the absolute best choice for everyone.
While the general train of thought is that if a service like Bitwarden isn’t charging you, then your data must be sold or something along those lines, this isn’t the case. Bitwarden’s free plan is best-in-class by giving you access to storage for an unlimited number of passwords on an unlimited number of devices. Where Bitwarden makes money is with its annual $10 plan, which gives you access to advanced 2FA uses as well as emergency access to Bitwarden customer support.
For those who might be skeptical about using a password manager hosted elsewhere, you can review Bitwarden’s open-source code to search for any suspicious elements or activities. On the other hand, you can also use Bitwarden in connection with a self-hosted option, so you are in charge of all of your data protection and Bitwarden just acts as a host with its password manager tool.
Like 1Password, Dashlane is a fully featured password manager that enables you to access your passwords on almost any device you can think of. Dashlane includes support for an unlimited number of passwords as well as being able to share them with family and friends on an unlimited basis. With Dashlane, you can one-click to fill in passwords, payment options, or personal details like your address whenever you need to complete something online.
Where Dashlane really shines is with its ability to monitor the dark web and alert you if it detects a password breach. This is a great way to know if your data has been “stolen” from a website you use and if you should be worried about updating your password. To access this feature, Dashlane requires a $2.75 monthly cost billed annually. Families can take advantage of the same feature set for $7.49 per month when billed annually.
When it comes to staying safe online, you should want to do everything you can to keep your most important and sensitive information safe. This is why you should carefully consider the 7 reasons here and sign up for one of the best password managers as soon as you can.
Instead of worrying about remembering all of your passwords or using passwords that are easy to crack, secure your online quickly and never have to worry about online security again.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Shutterstock.com.