If you’ve encountered any advice about your digital security, it probably begins with the following essentials: create strong passwords, change them regularly, and avoid using the same code for multiple accounts. If you’re like the vast majority of internet users, however, you might neglect to follow these basic suggestions.
In a concerning study from McAfee, nearly one-third of respondents admitted to only using two or three different passwords, despite holding, on average, almost two dozen online accounts.
The survey’s results also suggest that most people struggle to remember all of their login credentials, even when they repeat the same ones for different websites. Approximately one-third of those involved in the study claimed to forget at least one password every week. Many referred to the annoyance of forgetting a password as being “as painful as a papercut.”
With multiple accounts to maintain, it’s simply too difficult to remember so many passwords, especially if they involve lengthy, random strings of characters. Thankfully, it’s no longer necessary to handle dozens of passwords on your own. By utilizing a password manager, you can simplify your computer use while also improving your digital security.
What Is a Password Manager?
Password managers are advanced storage systems that generate and manage login details for a variety of online accounts. This information is kept in an encrypted vault, which is almost impossible for malicious parties to access.
Most password managers act as plug-ins for internet browsers. Upon logging into secure sites, these applications offer to save, and later, automatically enter relevant credentials. Depending on the manager, it may also be possible to automatically update password records upon changing credentials for a particular site.
The Importance of Password Security
Why is password security important? Passwords serve as the gateway to your digital identity. If not properly secured, they can easily be hacked through brute force, granting malicious parties easy access to sensitive information. While password security can take many forms, an advanced password manager proves especially beneficial by accomplishing the following:
- Eliminating the Burden of Memory – Without a password manager, you may be forced to recall dozens of separate passwords. Most people are incapable of this level of recollection, especially as many types of accounts require periodic password changes.
- Increasing the Chances of Using Sufficiently Secure Passwords – If the difficulty of remembering so many passwords ultimately convinces you to simplify, you could place your accounts at considerable risk. With the right manager, there’s no need to compromise on password quality.
- Overcoming the Risks of Physical Storage – In an effort to ramp up security, some people record their passwords in physical locations, such as notebooks or planners. This tactic can be risky, however, as it’s easy to lose such records. What’s more, this method could provide easy access to sensitive accounts in the event of theft.
- Saving Time – Of course, password managers also eliminate the lengthy process of coming up with and remembering login credentials. The best password managers can further streamline the digital experience by automatically filling in web forms with details such as your name, address, or phone numbers.
Going Beyond Passwords: Other Options for Strengthening Digital Security
Password managers may provide an essential first step to securing your digital presence, but they’re far from the only option. These days, a variety of other excellent solutions are available:
- Multi-Factor Authentication – Also referred to as two-factor authentication, this approach requires account holders to use multiple methods to log in, as opposed to relying exclusively on a password. Often, multi-factor authentication combines a conventional password with a code sent to the user’s phone.
- Face ID – As one of the most intuitive and advanced of today’s authentication solutions, Apple’s Face ID is a popular facial recognition system that allows you to log in with little more than a glance. The Pixel 4 offers a similar biometric solution.
- Touch ID – Another top option from Apple, this system harnesses the power of fingerprint technology to limit access to devices. Touch ID is advantageous not only for its elite security but also as a convenient approach that requires less effort than entering a lengthy passcode. Although commonly used for unlocking Apple devices, Touch ID can also be called upon for Apple Pay.
These and other measures may increase security, but they don’t justify abandoning your password manager. In fact, many password management applications and plug-ins actually incorporate these details. Multi-factor authentication, in particular, is common among top password managers.
Consider taking advantage of these advanced options not only for keeping personal data secure but also for business purposes. While some password managers require an upfront fee or monthly payments, many people believe these applications are well worth the investment.
As you implement a password manager and other important digital security measures, don’t hesitate to seek additional guidance from the team at NerdsToGo Charlotte. We offer a variety of cybersecurity solutions, ranging from firewall implementation to software assessment. With our Nerds in your corner, you can feel confident that your network and devices are 100 percent secure. Contact us today to learn more about our wide variety of personal and business security services.