6 reasons to use a password manager
If you write your passwords on a post-it note and hide it in your desk drawer, you need to do yourself a favour and start using a password manager!
Our friends at CERT NZ say that “a password manager is like putting your passwords in a safe that only you have the key to.” It’s a software service or app that is guarded by a master password, and stores all your saved credentials safely.
When you want to log in to an online service, such as your hMael account, you can let your password manager do the hard work by populating your credentials on the login screen. No more scratching your head trying to remember which combination of password you used or leafing through your paper notes.
Why you should use a password manager
- Most importantly it keeps your passwords safe and secure, if you have a strong master password and have protected it with multi-factor authentication.
- You don’t have to remember vast numbers of passwords, only your master password.
- Likewise, it removes the risk of you using the same password for multiple services (which is a big no-no!)
- It means you can create totally random, complex, and lengthy passwords that are harder for hackers to crack through brute force and spray attacks.
- Your passwords will be automatically populated on websites and apps.
- You can also store other information, like the answers to your security questions or multi-factor authentication backup codes.
Which password manager should you choose?
If you’re now convinced that you need to use a password manager, we’ve provided a few options below for you to consider.
Remember that a password manager won’t be 100% foolproof because anything online is vulnerable to hacking. But it adds an extra hurdle for an attacker to gain access to your personal information.
These password managers are ranked from ‘the best’ to ‘not the best but better than a post-it note’:
- LastPass: free or subscription (the best free version)
- 1Password: trial or subscription (the best subscription version)
- Bitwarden: free or subscription
- Dashlane: free (limited) or subscription
- Keeper: free (limited) or subscription
- KeePassXC: free.
Source: CNET; ‘Best password manager to use for 2020: 1Password, LastPass and more compared’ (Clifford Colby, 26 August 2020).
An important reminder: when you choose a master password make sure it’s unique, long and strong but memorable (for example by using a phrase rather than a word), and isn’t personal information that someone could easily guess (such as your surname).
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.