Why it’s Imperative you use a Password Manager

July 8, 2016 4:37 pm Published by 5 Comments

Why it’s Imperative you use a Password Manager

If you are using one or two passwords for every site, your logging into it’s just a matter of time before your passwords are jeopardized. In today’s world scammers are lurking everywhere, waiting for an opportunity to steal personal information.

If your thoughts about password managers are like mine was, just the thought of setting up a password manager makes you cringe; “another piece of software I have to download, setup and learn how to use, I just don’t have time.”

Like I said that used to be my thought process until a scammer cracked my password and logged into my cell phone account and tried to purchase a Samsung Galaxy 7 and have it shipped to their address.  Luckily I have SMS services on my account, and as soon as the bogus transaction was complete, I received a text message from my provider thanking me for my purchase and that it will be shipped soon.  Of course, I called and had the transaction canceled immediately and placed extra security on my account along with changing my password.

Then I started researching and found out that when your password leaks, scammers have an email address, username, and password combination they can try on other websites. If you use the same login information everywhere, a leak at one website could give people access to all your accounts. If someone gains access to your email account in this way, they could use password-reset links to access other websites, like your online banking or PayPal account.

After that incident, I started taking security a little more seriously and decided I had to take the plunge and start using a password manager to ensure my information is secure.

Let me explain a little bit about what a password manager does and how it keeps your passwords secure and helps keep scammers away.

Password managers store your login information for all the websites you use and help you log into them automatically. They encrypt your password database with a master password – the master password is the only one you have to remember.  Yes, you need to make your master password strong, don’t use common names, or something easily cracked.

How Password Managers Help protect your login information!

Once you install a password manager, (I chose Sticky Password), It will walk you through setting up a different encrypted, strong password for each site you visit. Don’t worry; you don’t have to remember these passwords, that’s what a Password Manager is for, it remembers the passwords for you.  The only Password you will ever have to remember is the Master Password.

stickypassword

What Using a Password Manager is Like

I was amazed after I installed and setup Sticky Password how relieved I felt just knowing my passwords were protected and I took another step toward protecting myself from the internet dangers. It really wasn’t that hard to setup and learn, Stick Password has tutorials that walk you through each step of the way.

totorial

When you use a password manager and need to log into a website, visit the website like you normally do.  Then, instead of typing your Userid and password into the provided fields, type your master password into the password manager, which automatically fills the appropriate login information into the website. (If you’re already logged into your password manager, it will automatically fill the data in for you). All you have to do is click the login button on the website and viola, your in.

If you’re creating a new account, your password manager will offer to help you set up the credentials for the new account.

Don’t think you’re safe by using your Browser-Based Password Manager

This is what got me into trouble.  I thought by using the “remember my password” feature on my web-browser I didn’t have to type in my password, and it was easy. Web browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and others – all have integrated password managers. However, they r can’t compete with dedicated password managers. Chrome and Internet Explorer store your passwords on your computer in an unencrypted form. Scammers can access the password files on your computer and find your passwords unless you encrypt your computer’s hard drive.

Firefox has a “master password” feature that does allow you to encrypt your saved passwords; however, Firefox’s password manager isn’t the ideal solution, either. It doesn’t help you create secure, random passwords like a Password Manager does, and it can’t sync across platforms like Sticky Password.

A password manager stores your passwords in an encrypted form, helps you generate secure random passwords, and allows you to easily access your passwords across all the different computers, smartphones, and tablets you use.

Go ahead and take the plunge, install and set up a sticky password today! You’ll be glad you did.

Karen Beth

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This post was written by Karen

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