Password Managers 101
Updated: Nov 5, 2022
At its most basic, a password manager is software that allows you to record your passwords in one place. I shared last month about how important it is to use unique passwords, but what is good practice for keeping track of them, especially when the average user has 100 different online accounts? A password manager will suggest unique passwords and securely store them behind a complex master password and mandatory two-factor authentication. Some programs will even check those passwords against leaked accounts on the dark web to alert you when a password change is needed. If you have multiple devices (computers, smartphone, tablet, etc.) you can install the software on each to have access to all your accounts everywhere. My favorite password manager is 1Password, but other popular options are LastPass, Dashlane, and RoboForm (most browsers also have some form of free password management built-in). Expect to pay about $25-50 per year for a robust password manager. Now, having said all this I don’t think everyone needs to run out and buy a password manager. If you are the type of person who really only needs access to your accounts at home then a small notebook hidden in a desk drawer is perfectly acceptable!