While you’re browsing the internet, you may notice that whenever you attempt to create an account on a website, a prompt appears on your screen asking you if you want your password manager to generate a strong password for you.
You may have seen this prompt and wondered, “What is a password manager?” You may also have wondered if this method of creating a password is safe and secure, or if it would be better to just make one up yourself.
These are important questions to ask, especially as a business owner. The security of the information stored on your computer – whether your clients or your own, is on the line.
What Is A Password Manager?
A password manager is a secure program that generates and stores strong passwords for your online accounts. It’s built into popular browsers like Google, Safari, and Firefox. There are also offline managers you can download and install, like KeePass.
How Does A Password Manager Work?
A password manager works by generating completely unique, complex passwords for each of your separate online accounts (with your permission, of course). It then stores those passwords in an encrypted database, which only someone with the master password can access.
If you’re using the password manager provided by Google or Apple, then the master password you use is likely the same one you use to log into your Google or Apple account.
Is It Safer To Use A Password Manager?
The usual way to create and store passwords for your online accounts is to come up with what we believe is a unique set of letters, numbers, and symbols, and then write them down.
But there are several problems with this system.
We don’t always write our passwords down. As a result, we often forget which passwords go to which account, and so starts an endless cycle of using the “Forgot Password” button to generate new ones.
We tend to use the same passwords for multiple accounts. This means that if one account gets hacked or compromised, the hacker will have easy access to our other accounts because they can simply use the same password to get in.
We don’t create strong enough passwords. Many people don’t know how to create a strong password. They often use the name of a pet, an object, or another word that would be easy for a hacker to guess.
A password manager can solve these problems.
It remembers our passwords, so we don’t have to write them down.
It generates a new password for each of our accounts.
It only generates strong, unique, complex passwords that are completely devoid of personal information or words that are easy to guess.
It’s easy to see that a password manager can be safer and easier than trying to create, keep track of, and remember all our passwords on our own.
A password manager is an important aspect of cyber security, both on a personal and professional level. Even if you don’t manage your client’s personal data, your own private data should be managed with the utmost care to boost your own cyber security.