In today’s world of technology, we have innumerable online accounts for sorting out almost everything in our lives. Food, ride, books, shopping, music! You just name it, something is there for it! But, being a human being, it can be very difficult exercise to remember all the individual passwords which are the key for accessing our online accounts and that’s when we need something, which will keep a track of all the usernames and passwords so that we can easily login whenever we need. When it comes to keeping an account of all the usernames and passwords, password managers are something that comes to our mind. With password managers, you can keep all the user IDs and passwords in one place securely, to log into your favourite websites later on.
Even most web browsers today come with inbuilt password managers, or at least a derivative of password managers, with certain useful features, there are numerous reasons you should still use a dedicated password manager to store all your passwords. With web browsers mostly used for surfing the web, it’s a no brainer, the password managers within web browsers will, in most cases just serve a very small purpose, but standalone password managers come with a lot of features, which can offer more convenience to the user.
The Top 7 reasons you should use a password manager
Use complex passwords
There are several users, who use the same password for multiple accounts just because they don’t want to remember the individual passwords for all the different accounts. It is the most vulnerable idea to use one single password for multiple accounts. Even if you are using different passwords for different accounts, chances are that the passwords are quite simple, so that it becomes easier for you to remember. Simple passwords don’t always refer to ‘00000’ or ‘12345’, but something related to your personal life, or a dictionary word also falls under the category of simple passwords. You can use the browser’s password manager to save the passwords even if you use a complex one, but using a password manager can be more useful in this case.
While you are using a password manager, the password manager can automatically generate strong passwords for different accounts which will be very hard to crack at least by brute force attacks. Even though the latest version of Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox password manager can also generate a strong password for your accounts, most websites require password to have a combination of capital letters, small letters, numbers and symbols, while others with a lower set of characters, but the browser’s password manager does not give you enough room to play when it comes to choosing a password with the necessary elements. But, with password managers, you can not only generate strong passwords, but you can also choose the criteria depending upon what type of elements the password should have while creating an account on your favourite website.
Cross-platform availability of passwords
I understand Google Chrome or Firefox might be your favourite web browser, and if you are using it for signing in to your website, you can easily sign in to the same website from your mobile or other devices as long as you are signed in with the same account, using auto-fill. But what if you want to switch to a new web browser or just want to use a separate web browser to sign in to certain websites for some reason. All the passwords that are synced with an account linked with a browser will only work with that particular browser. If you use Chrome to store all your passwords, they will not be available on Firefox or vice versa. In a nutshell, if you switch between browsers, the passwords are gone.
Most popular password managers available for almost all the popular web browsers and also for Android devices, are cross-platform so that you can log in to your existing accounts, no matter which web browser or platform you are using. With all your user IDs and passwords stored on the same web browser, you are keeping yourself tied to the ecosystem, which can be frustrating for you, if you plan to switch to a new web browser or platform. Alternatively, you can always download a copy of all your passwords in a CSV or any other file format, not to mention, it will not get updated with time each time you sign in to a new website. Downloading the stored passwords after signing in to every single account isn’t a convenient idea, and I think you will agree.
Just remember one password and you are ready
With password managers, we have to use a master password to get access to or add new IDs and passwords manually. Even in circumstances when you are not using the password manager, but you still need to sign in to one of your accounts, maybe in a cyber cafe or at your office, you can always open the password manager using your master password to manually type in the username and password to log in. Most password managers even have support for biometric login, which can help you to login with your fingerprint and that can be one of the most convenient ways to bypass the process of typing your master password, when you are in public, and you don’t want others to sneak into your master password.
Even though Google Chrome and other popular web browsers that store user ID and password will also require you to enter the system password or use a pattern or pin on a smartphone to see the user ID and password, that is not as good as using a master password on your default password manager. You can keep the master password written on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere only have access to and keep it in your memory as well so that you can secure all your passwords in one place. It is at least, much easier to remember one single password instead of remembering thousands of them. One thing that is cool about most trusted password managers is that it will never store the master password on the server which is the primary key to access all your passwords.
More than just passwords
If you are using the inbuilt password manager on your web browser, you are limited to just saving passwords for different websites and accounts that you have. However, if you are using a password manager, you can also store the number of other important information security using most password managers out there. Lastpass is one of the password managers, where you can even store important notes, insurance number, social security number, payment information and other useful information so that you can access them whenever you need.
Even though you can use individual services to store all your personal and important information on different web services, using the password manager as a secure vault to keep all important information can be a great way to keep everything safe. Password managers can give an option to store Wi-Fi passwords, which can also be useful if you have the habit of forgetting your Wi-Fi password or change them from time to time for enjoying the best level of security.
From time to time we need to share passwords with others and the best way of doing that is to take screenshots screenshot and send the same to your friends or the person who needs access to your account. Even though sharing the screenshot seems to be the most convenient way of sharing passwords, there is no denying the fact that it isn’t a secure way, but probably the most insecure way. But with password managers, you can share the passwords more securely so that nobody else can see your passwords other than the person who is supposed to see it.
To use the password securely, the other user should also have an account on the same password manager at least in case of LastPass, and then the password will also be saved in his account securely just the way passwords are saved on LastPass. Most password managers will also prevent you from taking screenshots within the app, which ensures nobody can steal your passwords by sneaking into your phone.
Easily import passwords to your new password manager
You might be using your browser’s inbuilt password manager for long, and switching to a new password manager might seem to be a stressful task for you. Don’t take the stress and act smartly. Whenever you try to login to your account after installing a password manager, you’ll automatically get the option to save the password using the password manager that you are using, eventually making things simpler for you. One by one, the information about all your login IDs and passwords will be saved within the password manager that you have started using.
But if you completely want to switch to the new password manager that you have started using, you can simply import all the password from your existing web browsers to the password manager and that will take a few seconds to complete. Then you can simply disable the password manager on your browser so that the password manager that you are using becomes a primary password manager that will also manage autofill on the websites. You can even use the password manager and your browser’s password manager at the same time, but the pop-up to save the password on your password manager might disappear, which can be frustrating. It isn’t necessary to use two password managers at the same time, but you can do it if you want to.
Get notified about different aspects and get more options
Most password managers will notify you, if you are using the same password on more than one account, unknowingly, which can be a serious security flaw, which I have discussed at the beginning. Most password managers will also offer additional options to show you accounts with easy passwords, which can be vulnerable to brute-force attacks or are compromised in some data breach. This eventually reduces a lot of manual efforts, as you can just change the vulnerable passwords.
Depending upon which password manager that you are using, the options might vary. But you can at least get some neat ways to manage your passwords, which your browser’s password manager will certainly offer in 2030. As password managers just serve the purpose of keeping your passwords safe, your password manager can also get timely feature updates to offer more bang for the back. You just have to wait for your favourite feature to come. With a premium subscription, you can even expect more features, which can be super handy, if the strongest possible security is your priority.
Even if you are proud of having a very strong memory, it can also be deceptive at times, and thus, maintaining all your passwords in one place with the help of a password manager can be useful. Most password managers that are popular will use the strongest encryption standards and security to keep your passwords safe on their servers. But still nothing is one hundred per cent secure, and thus, I recommend you to keep certain passwords and information away from password managers, and safe in your memory, or where they are, like your net banking user ID and password, the CVV for your cards, which can cost you a fortune if fallen into the wrong hands.
So for just being on the safe side, I will recommend you to keep those passwords in your brain. Other than that if you want a safe nesting hub for all your passwords, even a free, or a paid password manager can offer you the best deal. Other than a few password managers, most password managers operate on a freemium model, which means you can enjoy almost all the basic services for free, but to use additional and more convenient features, you will have to pay for the service. Even if a password manager is something that you should use, 2-factor authentication, or 2FA is no less important than using a password manager.
So you should always use a password manager, if your online accounts and their security is important for you, and also the 7 reasons for the same. Do you have anything to say? Feel free to comment on the same below.