What is a password manager?
Password managers are software that stores and encrypts your usernames and passwords for websites or applications that you use.
Many also offer features like password generators to make unique, strong passwords; two-factor authentication; and even features like password sharing, so you can allow someone else to access an account without actually giving them the password for it.
Should I use one or not?
Password managers can help keep you organized, but they may increase your risk for identity theft if the tool itself is broken into. You must decide for yourself if a password generator is the right tool to help protect your identity or not.
- Do you access a lot of websites every day? The more websites you use, the more passwords you have to remember, and the less likely you are to follow password best practices.
- Do you reuse passwords on different websites frequently? Every time you reuse a password on a different website, you decrease the security of that password.
- Do you find yourself frequently resetting passwords? If you do, a password manager could make managing your accounts, especially ones you access infrequently, less frustrating and more secure.
- Do you frequently use multiple devices? Using multiple devices requires signing in more frequently ;and might tempt you to make simpler passwords. Most password managers have mobile apps to help you transfer your secure password between devices and will have the most up-to-date password if you do have to reset it.
Most password managers offer trial evaluation options, so you can compare features and choose the best option for you before you commit to a product.
Even with a password manager, you should still create strong, unique passwords you can remember for your most critical accounts, like your email and bank accounts, in case the password manager becomes unavailable.