8 Reasons Why A Password Manager Is Essential For Every Professional

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woman looking at computer screen

I run three different businesses, which means I wear a lot of hats. It also means I have nearly 700 logins and passwords to remember.

That said, the majority of those logins and passwords are long, include capitals, numerals, and other symbols, to make them more secure.

I must have incredible brain capacity, right? No, what I have is a password manager.

Maybe you’ve got your passwords noted in a little book, a spreadsheet, or you simply use the same password everywhere — please don't do that! We all know this is flawed and unsafe.

But your mind can’t handle all that info, so writing your passwords down somewhere seems simple. A password manager solves this for you and more.

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So... What’s a password manager?

A password manager is an encrypted vault where all your passwords are stored safely and can be retrieved easily.

Logging into Instagram? Your kid’s school portal? Your company account or that weird subscription service you did a free trial of three years ago and now want to cancel?

Maybe you do have a nice long, secure, and kooky one for Google, Facebook, or Paypal... How do you remember it?

A password manager will eliminate the irritation of finding, remembering, or resetting passwords. Most do even more for you than that, and once you have one, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it.

There are many on the market. You can see full reviews of them and their various features here. They are all comparable, but I’m a devotee of Dashlane.

Getting organized can be a struggle. Password managers can make your life so much easier!

Here are 8 reasons you should use a password manager.

1. It will create complicated passwords for you.

Some systems, like Apple, may offer this option, usually referred to as creating a "strong" password.

But if you don't have a system in place to do this, then getting a password manager that can create well-protected passwords for you is a must.

2. It will automatically save any new passwords you make.

Again, some operating systems and individual browsers offer this, but keeping them all in one place is definitely something you can't beat for ease of access.

3. It will auto-fill your passwords for each site.

This will change your life and increase your organization. Any website you go to, it will auto-fill the login and password and get you logged in.

If you set it up, it will automatically fill in your address, credit card info, date of birth... All those things you're always having to find and put in.

4. It will sync your passwords across all your devices.

So, when your teenager texts you from the sleepover asking for the Netflix password and you’re out on date night, you can call it up on your phone and send it to her in seconds.

It works on all browsers and mobile devices.

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5. It can port your current password file into the system.

If you still want that safe piece of paper, you can export the whole crazy list into a spreadsheet. I do this about once a year or so, and put it in the safe.

6. They can warn you about bad passwords.

Password managers protect you with friendly alerts about weak, re-used, or compromised passwords.

7. You can get alerts about data breaches.

This is so important. You'll know when there's a login on your account, and it will encourage you to change the password.

8. It automatically imports passwords you've saved in your browsers.

When you set up the app, it imports existing passwords that you may have saved into your browser. And as you login to different sites, it will ask you if you’d like it to save it.

Boom. You can start forgetting passwords.

Dashlane has some additional premium features that make it an even more valuable tool, and you should look for these features in any password manager you choose.

It features "dark web monitoring" of your email addresses for breaches, and allows you to share passwords securely with others.

A VPN for WiFi protection works well for when you're on unsecured networks.

Credit monitoring, identity-restoration support, and identity-theft insurance are also excellent premium features. 

What about identity theft?

You may worry about identity theft being an issue, since you're saving your passwords all in one place.

Nothing is 100-percent secure. However, as these companies' entire business is about security, they have taken all the right steps to ensure your information is safe.

There are numerous features that make password managers extremely secure.

First of all, you create a master password to access the vault, and it is recorded nowhere. You are the only one who knows it.

It cannot be retrieved in any way. On your mobile devices, the app is secured with the password or biometrics (fingerprint/face ID).

According to Cybernews, “Both free and premium password managers use military-grade encryption and zero-knowledge architecture. This means that there’s no way to decipher your database even if someone breaks into it. The provider also doesn’t have a key to unlock your data. That’s why it all comes down to using a proper master password, 2FA, and keeping your devices malware-free.”

If it's good enough for the military to use, it's good enough for me!

So the next time you are waiting for that password-reset email, download a password manager app and save yourself a lot of time. Or just keep using "Password1234" and hope for the best.

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Anne Lyons is a professional organizer and productivity consultant who wants to help you put your life in order. For more information on how she can help you, reach out to her at her website.

This article was originally published at Step 1 Organizing. Reprinted with permission from the author.