SPOT Cybersecurity Tip: The Secret Benefit of Password Managers

Cybersecurity Tip from The Fulcrum Group
Click to read more SPOT Cybersecurity Tips on LinkedIn.

Let’s face it. Passwords are a pain the ***. They are difficult to think up. They have to be a certain length, and contain numbers, letters, and symbols. They have to be reset often. And they can be a real pain to remember and even more of a pain to update.

Enter password managers. A password manager is a software application that stores and manages your credentials for all your accounts, including websites, applications, and any software you use in your business. You can use it on your work computer as well as your smart phone, so you’ll have all of your passwords with you wherever you go.

It will generate different long random passwords for each application and remember them. And when you login, it will automatically fill in the login boxes for you. A password manager is simple and easy. Once it’s set up, you only need to remember your master password.

Secret Benefit of Password Managers

Password managers are great because they help you be more secure, and they save you from “password fatigue“. But the secret benefit of password managers is the amount of time they will save each user when it comes to logging into various web sites and cloud applications.

How does a password manager save you time?

1. A password manager fills in passwords for you.

Typing in your credentials here and there doesn’t seem like a lot of effort. But you’d be surprised how quickly it adds up. Even if you recall your password immediately, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to more than 20 seconds to type in a username and password, and login to an account. By filling in passwords for you, a password manager saves you time typing in every single password when you need to login.

2. A password manager saves you from password resets.

What if you can’t remember your password? Boy can that take some time to deal with. Going through an account recovery process can take several minutes and often involves more than one step. By remembering every password for you, and filling the correct one in when you need to login to a password-protected account, a password manager minimizes interruptions to your workflow and saves you the time it takes to reset any forgotten passwords.

3. A password manager generates passwords for you.

The only thing that’s probably more annoying than having to remember passwords is having to create them when you sign up for a new account. These days, every website wants a different number of characters with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Trying to come up with a new password that perfectly fits each page’s requirements takes time and slows you down. With a password manager, it can instantly create new passwords for you. You can even designate how many characters it should have, and the combination of characters. And of course, once it creates that new password, it remembers it for you. That’s a serious time (and headache) saver!

4. A password manager syncs passwords where you need them.

If you use the same browser on the same computer all the time, you may be thinking: “Wait, can’t my browser just do this for me?” Technically yes, it can. But if you want those same stored passwords on any other browser or device, you need to make sure you activate sync. Then you’ll need to login with the same user profile on the other browser or computer. And most browsers only sync to the same browser – so if you ever need to switch from Chrome to Safari, for example, there’s no hope from automatically syncing your passwords from one to the other. A password manager takes all the work out of that by syncing passwords for you, automatically. Plus, they work with every browser, and every platform, so you’re not locked into using the same browser or out of luck if you need to switch.

5. A password manager remembers your contact information.

Every time you sign up for a new account, or get ready to buy something online, a website prompts you for your contact information. Typing it in over and over gets pretty repetitive. Sometimes websites remember your address or your credit card, but not always. And they often accumulate old, unused addresses after a while. Using a password manager with address profiles and credit card profiles makes it easy to enter all that information in one click. No typing, no scrolling through addresses or cards to make sure you’re using the right one. Just pick the profile you need, and move on.

6. A password manager alerts you to breaches and security issues.

These days, it seems like a website or service is getting hacked every day. It can be overwhelming to keep track of which accounts you use and whether you may have been affected by a big breach. A password manager has built-in security alerts to let you know when one of your accounts might be at risk. That way, you can take action if needed, but not get too caught up in the details of every single breach that hits the headlines.

7. A password manager changes passwords for you.

After a website has a security incident, you’re often asked to update the password to a new one. A password manager makes this less painful by creating that new password for you, and saving it so you don’t have to worry about remembering the new one. That way you know you are using a strong, different password for every website, and you know that a security issue for one of your online accounts won’t affect all of your other online accounts.

8. A password manager gives you a window into your security.

When people start using a password manager, they’re often surprised to find out just how many passwords they have. Most people think they only have 10 or 20 passwords. But once you start storing them in one central, secure place, it’s easy to accumulate 50, 60, even 100 passwords. Between online banking, social media, email accounts, gaming sites, movie streaming, music streaming, investment accounts, productivity apps, storage sites, cell phone accounts…you get the idea. It adds up to a lot. More than anything, a password manager gives you a way to audit all of your passwords and make sure you’re using a strong, different password for every account. It can give you a security score and take you step-by-step through improving your passwords so you’re better protected from hackers and thieves, with much less time commitment and worrying on your part.

Want to learn more about password managers. Read our latest Educational Guide on password managers.