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According to Security Magazine, the average business user has 191 online passwords. A non-business internet user has around 23. These can include everything from your email password to those you use for online banking, Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, Grubhub, student, work, or medical portal, etcetera etcetera.
If these numbers seem high to you, it’s likely because you’re not used to typing in your password. Thanks to password chains and browser-based autofill features, we rarely have to enter our passwords in order to access our accounts. There’s no doubt that these features make life easier, but they can also be dangerous—they make us complacent about updating our passwords and therefore more susceptible to cyberattacks and identity theft.
There are two ways we typically deal with this growing abundance of passwords. The first is to create easy-to-remember passwords and reuse them across different sites—a dangerous mistake, but a common one.
The smarter choice is to create strong, unique passwords—randomly generated strings of alphanumerics and special characters—for every online account we have. This is the far better choice. But then there’s a new problem: remembering and keeping track of them.
Enter password management software. These tools are designed to organize and protect your passwords across all sites and all devices, so that you don’t expose yourself to security threats. The best password management and password keeper tools can generate smart passwords for you, sync them across multiple sites, and protect them with high-end encryption software that keeps you safe from bad actors and cyberhackers.
Each password manager works a little differently and offers different features. The first step is to identify your needs and, more importantly, your weaknesses. Are you good at coming up with unique passwords, but bad at remembering to update them? Or maybe you’re good at remembering to change your passwords, but prone to using obvious ones that any savvy hacker could figure out.
Identifying where you need the most assistance is the first step in finding the right password manager for you. That said, here’s a list of features to look for that can help all internet users stay on top of their password game and keep them safe from security threats:
No matter where your vulnerability lies, a password manager will step in and secure the problem. Whether you have trouble remembering to change your passwords, aren’t good at creating unique ones, or simply struggle to keep track of all the passwords your online life demands, a good password manager will centralize all these moving parts (not to mention the myriad letters, numbers, and special characters therein). A password manager is an intelligent and effortless way to secure your online life and strengthen the first defense between bad actors and your valuable information.