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Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

The advantages of password managers

Password manager allows you to store all your passwords and use them with a master password

If you use the internet often, you would have to use and remember at least 15-20 passwords on a daily basis. Starting from your personal email account, official email account, social media platforms to your bank account, other financial instruments and shopping portals; every website requires a password. Most people find it extremely difficult to remember all their passwords. Hence, many end up writing it on paper, saving it in the draft folder of email account or simply as a file on their computer. Some even use the same password for all the websites. To be sure, all cyber security experts are against these practices as they make you vulnerable to cyber attacks and scams. Hence, most of these experts recommend using password managers.

Basically, it allows you to store all your passwords and use them with a master password. There are many password managers, such as: Roboform, Truekey and LastPass. You have the option of using these on your desktop and mobile phone too. Most of them come in both free and paid versions. To use them, first you have to register on the password manager’s website or app. To register, you have to create a master password that is long and unique only to you. After you have registered, you can add the websites that you want to access through the password manager. Once you have stored the passwords for individual websites, you don’t need to remember them anymore. Some of the managers also allow you to use face recognition and biometric IDs. How does that happen? Say you want to login to the Amazon website to buy shoes, check your LinkedIn account or watch a movie on Netflix. Now, instead of remembering three passwords, you can use the password manager—where you have to type only one master password or use your biometric identity. The password manager will log you into all the accounts. Cyber security experts say that password managers—combined with two-factor authentication and their ability to change passwords frequently—increase the overall security as users don’t have to reuse passwords across websites.

Cyber security experts suggest using password managers to manage your passwords if you struggle to remember all your passwords. It is more secure than writing it down on a piece of paper, storing on your mobile device or using the same password for all the websites. If you plan to use a password manager, ensure that the master password that you create is strong enough and not easy to hack. For instance, use a longer word, with say 15-20 characters about a story that is unique to you. Also, never share your password with anyone. But remember, nothing is more secure than memorizing your passwords.

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