Why You Need a Password Manager. Yes, You.

from NYTs

You probably know that it’s not a good idea to use “password” as a password, or your pet’s name, or your birthday. But the worst thing you can do with your passwords — and something that more than 50 percent of people are doing, according to a recent Virginia Tech study — is to reuse the same ones across multiple sites. If even one of those accounts is compromised in a data breach, it doesn’t matter how strong your password is — hackers can easily use it to get into your other accounts.

But even though I should know better, up until a few months ago I was still reusing the same dozen or so passwords across all of my everything (though at least I had turned on two-factor authentication where I could). It’s just too difficult to come up with (and remember) unique, strong passwords for dozens of sites. That’s why, after much cajoling from co-workers, I started using a password manager — and it’s why you should be using one, too. Aside from using two-factor authentication and keeping your operating system and Web browser up-to-date, it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself online.

More here.

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6 Responses to Why You Need a Password Manager. Yes, You.

  1. Emily Rodger September 6, 2019 at 2:44 pm #

    After all the years I have spent online, not once have I ever thought about using a password manager. After reading this article and coming across some of the good points it has made, I might have to look into start using one. I too am at fault for using the same or relatively the same password for many of my different accounts. I have always been aware that it is probably not a good idea to use the same password for everything, but in the end I still end up using what is easy for me to remember. Even if the only accounts I have are social media ones, I still do not wish to have my privacy accessed and accounts hacked. I have noticed that many apps make you have special requirements like having an uppercase letter, lowercase, and a special symbol in order for your password to be strong. In many cases, I have found it sort of a hassle to have different passwords for every new account simply because I end up not remembering and will have to eventually change it when I forget. Honestly, before reading this article I did not even know what a password manager was or that people really used them all that much. As said in the article, password managers seem to be very beneficial because it not only holds all of your passwords for every account, but it also makes up new strong passwords that hackers cannot get into. I find that this is actually a useful resource that I have never thought about using before. If I simply start using this resource, the only password I would ever have to remember is the one for the password manager meanwhile it remembers all the rest for me. Although I do not have that many important accounts that would matter if they ever got hacked, I should start becoming more aware for future cases when I do have important matters. Overall, a password manager is something everyone should think about looking into, and I know that I definitely will too.

  2. Joe Antonucci September 7, 2019 at 11:27 am #

    The thought of using a password manager, at face value, seems very logical. Obviously using the same password for everything is not a smart move, even if the password is tough to crack. If someone were to crack it, you’d potentially be in a lot of trouble and it would take a lot of time to compile all the websites and programs you’ve used that password for that now need to be changed. On the other hand, I see why a password manager may not be such a great idea. Having one password for your password manager presents a similar issue: once it’s found out, you’re in trouble. At the end of the day, it’s a third party you are trusting with your information, and that third party may have some kind of security loophole that could be exploited.

    My view is that the only person you can undoubtedly trust is yourself, and so the only place you can store your passwords is one that only YOU have access to. For me, that would amount to a physical copy of your passwords, hidden in some obscure location that only you have access to. Writing them all down and keeping them stowed away is, in my view, the safest move. There are drawbacks, such as that your house could burn down or you could be away from home and forget a password that you do not know off the top of your head. These are realistic concerns and so a password manager may thus be the preferred option for some people.

    All things considered, the password manager is probably secure and people probably won’t ever come to regret using it. But everyone should definitely weigh the options they have and make a judgement based on that, because everyone goes about things differently and a password manager could be a great help to some people while a physical copy of passwords could make more sense to others. As for me, I use the same password for everything and I tell myself I’ll stop soon but for now I’ll probably keep kicking the can down the road.

  3. Ryan Geschickter September 9, 2019 at 11:46 am #

    After seemingly being on the internet for a very long time, since I was a younger kid, there was never a time where I thought or even knew about a password manager. After looking into what a password manager is I can thoroughly say that I wish I had known what it was much sooner. Passwords have become one of the most important things in modern day society as they are the key to accessing a ton of important information such as bank accounts, college accounts, and various other accounts that are extremely useful. Sometimes people breach accounts and gain access which is dangerous, and potentially, devastating as they can act as you or spend your money and steal information. Having a password manager is a great thought and should be greatly considered for various reasons in today’s ever so growing technologically sound society and generation.

    The main reason why someone should have a password manager is because people forget their passwords if they haven’t accessed an account in a significant time period. Some people write down their passwords but notes are often lost and thrown away as mistaken scarp paper. Having a password manager ensures that forgetting passwords will never happen again as one will usually use password manager everyday. Overall, password manager looks to be a secure way of preventing the hacking culture that one hears on the news ever so often.

  4. Samantha Russo September 11, 2019 at 12:11 pm #

    I probably shouldn’t be openly admitting to it but I’ve made a bad habit of continuously reusing old passwords across multiple sites. Sometimes, if I’m feeling super lazy, I will just use my name and my lucky number or the name of the site itself as a passcode. My accounts are definitely easily hackable. In my family, we have a small little notebook filled with all of our important family passwords to bank accounts, Netflix, and our phone company. The notebook is tiny and it’s so easy to lose but it hasn’t stopped my family from putting every single important password down in it. Even in the age of digital everything, we still insist on our notebook.
    As someone who uses her phone and laptop for nearly everything, I’ve never heard of a password manager before. I know on Apple products, it’ll tell you when you’re using the same exact password across multiple sites and I know that when you sign up for websites, it’ll tell you how weak or strong your passcode is but I did not know that it’ll generate strong new passwords for your accounts. My only, and main, problem with that is that I would never remember half of these passcodes it creates, especially when the computer gives you suggest passcodes with a bunch of letters and numbers. Depending on how secure on my account is when I decide if I want to save a password or not which wouldn’t help me with these random character created ones. I don’t know if I would be able to trust a third party to keep all my passwords secure when my little notebook, despite getting lost in my house often, still works just fine. I’m so used to my plain passwords and knowing that if I forget it, it’ll be in a notebook for me to find that I don’t see the benefit to spending money for someone to do what my family has been able to do for years.

  5. Tyler Abline September 12, 2019 at 1:12 pm #

    I’ve never used a password manager before and although some people might find it useful, I don’t really see a need to use it myself at least right now. I don’t see a need for myself to get one right now for free much less for a yearly subscription, and I also don’t have too many accounts that I desperately can’t afford to have hacked. I’m not great at computer programs anyway so it’s entirely possible that having a password manager is counterproductive for me because I bet that I would mess up due to using the program. I’m currently comfortable with the way I manage my passwords so if my method isn’t broken, I’m not going to fix it.
    I personally don’t see a need for this program at least for myself because I think it would be safer to have them all written down in a secure place rather than having them stored online in the management program. The article mentioned that a master password is required and in order to make it easy to remember I would probably just end up using a similar password to my other ones. If I do end up getting hacked, I’d prefer for only a few of my accounts be compromised rather than having all of them compromised due to now having a password that can unlock my other passwords.
    While I understand that there are pros of using a system like this, for me personally the inconvenience and potential for me to make my passwords even less secure make it not worth it to get a password manager. I don’t really see how keeping my passwords stored in a database online is safer than keeping them written down in a secure place, so as of right now I don’t intend on using a password manager. I might have use of one in the future, but as of right now I have no need for a password manager.

  6. Jackson Beltrandi September 13, 2019 at 5:45 pm #

    As a millennial and someone active in the digital age it is important to use different passwords, and be organized through a password manager such as the free one that Wirecutter suggests – LastPass Free. Although I’m not willing to pay $36 for the full version, I will certainly sign up for the free version. As someone who uses multiple emails, social media, streaming services, investing apps, and bank accounts, I could definitely look into a software which not only keeps record of my login information but offers suggestions for new passwords, and shows when I’m at risk.

    Although this program may seem like an easy choice for anyone who uses an account online, there are some risks in the way I see it. This FREE program is collecting and accessing your data through its own database. This company uses your cookies and search history to serve you with extra advertisements, listed in their privacy policy. The company also has relaxed view on information sharing, which makes me feel uneasy. Said directly in their information sharing tab on their privacy statement, “We may share your personal information with (a) third party service providers; (b) business partners; (c) affiliated companies within our corporate structure and (d) as needed for legal purposes.” Although this type of information sharing is used in very rare and specific scenarios, it is frightening to think that a company or service you are unaware of has access to accounts such as your bank statements, or social media log-ins.

    Personally, I would do more research to find a reliable password manager. I feel more safe writing down my different usernames and passwords onto paper, tucked away where no one can see them. Even though it is the digital age, there are many things that I would do to prevent my information from being shared or held by a third-party service online. Also, I like to memorize all of my log-in information so being reliant on a computer software to do that for me would be something I’m not interested in.

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