Why are password managers so important?

Kevin Qiu
April 19, 2021
Qwerty. Password123. 12345678.

Do any of these sound familiar? If they do, then it's likely that you’ve used a weak password while creating a new account for some website before. You might be wondering why people tend to pick passwords like these. Well, frankly, the truth is that picking good passwords is hard. Remembering them is even harder. In fact,

  • From January to March 2019, Microsoft discovered over 44 million cases of leaked, reused passwords from scanning leaked credential databases from a variety of sources
  • During a study conducted by HYPR, 78% of participants had to reset a forgotten password in the past 90 days
  • According to the 2019 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 80% of hacking-related breaches involved compromised, weak, and/or reused credentials
  • According to the Gartner Group, 20% to 50% of all IT help desk tickets are related to password resets

Is there something that we can do about this?

This is where password managers come in. A password manager is a tool that is used to securely store passwords, credit card numbers, PIN numbers, and other types of sensitive information. These passwords are in turn encrypted by a master password, one that should be complex enough so that no one can guess it. In a 2018 academic research study conducted at Virginia Tech, researchers used a dataset of 61.5 million publicly leaked credentials and discovered that 16 million of them were weak enough that they could be cracked by modern computers in fewer than 10 tries.

What do password managers actually do?

Most password managers allow users to:

  1. Share items with other users

Ever needed to share a password with a coworker over email or Slack? Password managers allow you to share passwords in a secure manner so that only you and the recipient(s) will ever be able to view them.

  1. Automatically save new credentials when creating a new account on a website

Have you ever registered for a service, only to immediately forget the password you entered a few minutes, or even seconds, later? Password managers can save these credentials upon registration, making those “Forgot Password” emails a thing of the past.

  1. Access their passwords across multiple devices

Need to login to your email on your laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc? Password managers make this easy by allowing you to securely view your password on all of your devices.

  1. Identify passwords that have been reused or lack complexity

Been using the same password for your bank account, social media, and email? Password managers can alert you when you do.

  1. Quickly generate strong passwords

Know that password reuse is bad, but can’t come up with good passwords on your own? Password managers can instantly generate these for you!

Popular password managers

Ready to improve your password security? Here are a few of the most popular password managers available today:

LastPass

  • Free plan for personal use
  • 1 to 1 sharing is very intuitive
  • Can share items to other users for free

1Password

  • Can generate multi factor authentication codes for shared accounts at work
  • Very clean interface and native desktop apps
  • Can seamlessly access personal and business vaults simultaneously

Dashlane

  • Paid plans include a dark web monitoring and credit monitoring
  • Can quickly change multiple old passwords at once
  • Includes a bundled VPN service for extra privacy while using the internet

KeePass

  • Encrypted passwords are not stored by an external party
  • Fully open source so you can review the security yourself
  • Completely free

Already using a password manager? Mention it on your SafeBase Security Status Page!

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