Do You Use the Web? Get a Password Manager
4 min read • ––– views
Does this sound like you?
- You use the same password on multiple websites
- Your passwords are mostly alphanumeric characters
- Your password has either:
- Your personal information (Name/DOB/Address/Phone#)
- Your kid’s personal information
- Your dog’s personal information
- You don’t use 2-factor authentication
- You store passwords in your notes or contacts app
Cool, you should be using a password manager.
You probably have hundreds of passwords - the average person has more than 100 logins. Usually, that authentication information is inconvenient to enter and either easily forgotten, or incredibly insecure.
There are really 3 reasons you should be using a password manager:
- Security. It’s way better to have each of your accounts using different login information. With a password manager you can safely store all of your important login information (and potentially other meaningful digital data) in an encrypted, secure location.
- Accessibility. With a password manager, you can easily search through all of your logins for every account in one place. You can also safely share passwords with others.
- Auto-fill. Password managers make typing in passwords more convenient by auto-filling information. If you’re familiar with Apple’s iCloud Keychain or Chrome’s save-password functionality, a password manager essentially enables that for all of your browsers and devices.
In other words, password managers offer significantly increased security and convenience.
There are many, many password managers. I’ve tried almost all of them - 1Password, Bitwarden, Minimalist, Enpass, Dashlane, LastPass, etc.
They all do the job. Even the built-in iCloud Keychain or Chrome password managers can work if you’re willing to be fully locked-in to that particular ecosystem.
My recommendations are (not sponsored, just from my experience):
Bitwarden is the best free password manager. It’s cross-platform, open-source, and has a multitude of features.
1Password is the best premium password manager. It has all the functionality of Bitwarden, but adds family "vaults”, built-in 2-factor authentication, and a more modern interface.
Setting up a password manager is very easy. Simply download the app for whichever manager you choose on all your devices, and log into your account. Some managers may give you further instructions to enable a more native experience.
You can import all your existing passwords into most password managers. Importantly, password managers allow you to export all your information at any time. You’re in control of your account information.
You know that annoying requirement some websites have to confirm you’re really you by making you enter a code they sent to your phone or email?
That’s called 2-factor authentication, and it’s a great way to prevent your accounts from being accessed by anyone except you.
Even if someone gets ahold of your password, they won’t be able to access your account unless they’re also holding your personal devices.
Password managers can make 2-factor authentication much less frustrating. Many managers or authenticator apps will auto-generate and fill 2-factor authentication codes when you set them up along with your account for any website.
Many platforms are now either requiring or strongly recommending the use of 2-factor. I highly recommend you use it with any accounts that support it.
There’s a new movement to improve how passwords work online - we’ll hopefully see developments on that front in the next few years.
In the meantime, we spend a great deal of our time online. It’s worth it to take a few minutes and secure your digital life.
Thanks for reading :)
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