Why You Should Use a Password Manager Instead of Your Web Browser to Save Passwordswphungerford
As we increasingly rely on technology to accomplish everyday tasks, passwords will continue to dominate our lives. Personal emails, work emails, banks, social media accounts, streaming services, food delivery services and online shopping platforms all require passwords. It’s a lot to remember.
With so many accounts requiring passwords, it’s quite common for people to pick one password and use it for many accounts — almost 9 in 10 people, in fact. A study found 84% of people use the same password for multiple accounts.
Using one password is just as bad if not worse than making your password “123456” or “password.” In the event of a data breach, you’re making it too easy for hackers to steal your personal and financial information on other websites, where they can change the password and lock you out of your accounts.
That’s where password managers, such as LastPass, 1Password, Dashlane and NordPass come in. Password managers save all your usernames and passwords in one secure place. Now, you may be thinking, “My web browser saves all of my passwords, why would I need to use a password manager?”
Here are six reasons why you should use password manager instead of your web browser to save passwords.
1.) You Only Need to Remember One Password
Password managers rely on one master password to access your account of stored passwords. Therefore, you only need to remember one password to access all your passwords. Wouldn’t digital life be much simpler if we only had to remember one password?
If remembering even one password is something you’re not interested in, some password managers offer a passwordless option to log in. This option uses two-factor authentication — another layer of security where a temporary code is texted, emailed or provided to the user through an authenticator app — or biometrics login using a fingerprint or face ID, making it even harder for hackers to access your data.
2.) Password Managers are More Secure
Password managers use encryption methods to protect your passwords from hackers. This means that not even the owners of LastPass can access your saved passwords. In fact, in November 2022, LastPass was hacked, but hackers were not able to access stored passwords due to the company’s encryption methods.
While encrypting data is great for keeping hackers from accessing your passwords, it also means that if you forget your master password, some password managers will be unable to reset or change your password. You’ll need to use account recovery options or reset your account.
Browsers, on the other hand, do not have the security features that password managers have. Anyone could open the settings menu of your browser, export your saved passwords to a Word document and save that file to a thumb drive. Just like that, every password you’ve ever had is compromised.
The main purpose of a browser is to help you find information online and saving passwords in a browser is an extra feature. Password managers, on the other hand, were designed to store and protect your passwords.
3.) Password Managers are More Convenient
Just like a browser, password managers can autofill web forms for you, so you don’t need to type in your username, password, address, credit card or bank information every time. However, password managers save your passwords and information regardless of what browser or device you use. For example, if you use Chrome to save your password for your bank account, you’ll have to reenter the password if you try to log in using Firefox.
Password managers work across different browsers and devices, so a password you initially store on a laptop using Chrome can be accessed using an app on your iPhone or Android phone.
Some password managers even allow you to launch a website and skip the login screen entirely, automatically logging you in and accessing the homepage.
In addition to storing passwords and information, some password managers come with extra features like dark web monitoring and strength tests for your passwords.
Most password managers require a monthly subscription with tiers ranging from less than $1 per month up to $8 per month. There are free versions of password managers, but they limit you to using them on one device and lack additional security features.
4.) Password Managers Autogenerate Passwords
We’ve already discussed why using the same password for multiple logins or picking oversimplistic passwords is a recipe for disaster. To help, password managers will autogenerate a complex password filled with random lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as numbers and special characters.
A randomly generated password of “f4!jf0Pr#QTxv59$” is much harder for a hacker or computer to guess than “123456” or “password.”
The best part? You won’t have to remember the complex password, as it will autofill for you when you try to log in.
5.) Password Managers Alert You if Your Password is Part of a Breach
Data breaches are, unfortunately, part of our technology-driven world. It’s not a matter of if a data breach will happen, it’s a matter of when. It can be hard to track and keep up with every company’s data breach, especially since many smaller breaches aren’t reported.
National news outlets will report on large data breaches, such as those from LinkedIn or Facebook, but you most likely won’t hear about a medium-sized business that had a data breach from your local news organization.
Some password managers will alert you if your password for a specific account was part of a data breach.
6.) Easily Manage Personal and Work Passwords
While you may have separate computers for work and personal use, you probably log in to personal accounts on your work computer. Maybe you like to shop while on your lunch break or need to make a car payment between meetings. However, if your company is targeted by hackers, that personal information will be compromised.
Some password managers offer business plans that allow your employees to link business and personal accounts to see all passwords in one location. This keeps both personal and business passwords safe and secure without having to log in and out of different password manager accounts.
It’s important to note that employers do not have access to employees’ personal accounts. However, employers have control over individuals’ work passwords and can transfer or share business password data with other employees. This is helpful if an employee leaves a company, and the employer needs to access work accounts to help other employees gain access.
Every password manager has its pros and cons, but there is no doubt that everyone should have a password manager in this digital age. We recommend LastPass for its extra security features, ability to link personal and business accounts, and data breach alerts.
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Looking to protect your company from cybersecurity threats? Contact Hungerford Technologies to learn how we can help secure your sensitive data.