If you are reading this and didn’t catch our Part 1 where we discussed why you should trust password managers, I would advise you to go and read that first.
This time we are going to look at why I love password managers. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. There’s no need to remember passwords
I don’t even know or have to try to remember my own passwords anymore. Think of the free mental space. I love language learning and I now have room for approximately 300 extra words, and so I can remember “No manches guey!” and sound “down with the homies”. You, on the other hand, are desperately trying to remember what symbol you added to your mum’s maiden name on Aer Lingus’s website and feeling like a numpty. A literal waste of time!
2. Passwords are synced across all devices
You added the password on your tablet. Three months later you try to access it on your phone and inconveniently it isn’t remembered there. I, on the other hand, have no issue as my passwords are synced to all my regularly used devices.
3. Passwords are updated everywhere
You saved the password on your tablet and then changed it on your phone. Now you have locked yourself out of Facebook because the remembered credentials were wrong. I, on the other hand, had the update synced across my devices.
4. New computer? No problem
You changed your computer and now you wish the world would swallow you up as you have realised that you saved every password on the browser. You have no idea what half your passwords are. Six months ago, they started asking you to improve your security and you added a dollar sign to some, a number to others and an @ to yet more. At the time it seemed the most obvious thing ever but now it seems impenetrable. I, on the other hand, simply need to log into the new device, confirm with my two–factor authentication and my new computer knows every password I have.
5. It knows when something ‘phishy’ is going on
You get an email linking to a great offer and you click the link. After you clicked it you logged in, only to realise that it wasn’t a legitimate link and now that password, that is used in a couple of dozen places, is in the hands of criminals. I, on the other hand, noticed that LastPass was not filling in my password on the webpage the link took me too. This made me ask the question “why not?”. I took a closer look at the link and realised that LastPass was a bit ahead of me and had noticed that Aer Lingus is not spelt ‘aerliingus’ and wouldn’t autofill the password. Cool.
6. It provides password warnings
Last month you got a super offer on new sunglasses and bought them off www.newshades.com. Unbeknownst to you they know more about sunglasses than they do security and your email and password are now floating round the dark web. A few of your regularly used sites now have issues with your account and one of your credit cards has been stopped due to rogue activity. I on the other hand got a notification that my password was spotted on the dark web and I changed it a while ago. Also, it only worked on one website and now I know that newshades is not a great place to be putting my credit card details.
7. Login times are quicker
You decided to save your password in a spreadsheet or in a free password vault. You go to open a website and now you have to open the app, find the password, copy it and then paste it. This is an improvement, but good password managers recognise the login request, initiate a face ID or finger print ID and if successful, autofill it in and crack on. Seconds saved, more room bagged for watching funny cat videos.
8. It prompts you to save new or changed passwords
I went to sign up for a new service, filled in the registration form and LastPass recognised the use of a password and offered a new super secure one. When I submitted the web page it remembered that I need to store it in LastPass and prompted me to store it. You, on the other hand, were interrupted by Brenda from Accounts just before you copied it into your password spreadsheet and you ended up copying Brenda’s stupid data over the top of it. To make matters worse, this was one of your better attempts and you got it off a password generator on the internet. We’ll shimmy past the slightly odd feeling you now have that you have been getting your passwords off a site you know nothing about and gradually return to a realisation that you have more chance of remembering your wife’s birthday before it happens than of guessing that password. Grrrr!
9. No need for saving passwords to the browser
I never save passwords to the browser. The picture is getting a little better but if your machine gets a virus you need to assume that every one of those passwords has been hoovered up and is now in the hands of criminals. Yes, they can do that. Really!
10. It has secure sharing features
You changed the Sky password and you are now receiving irate texts from your son in the middle of a meeting who is being forced to do homework now as he can’t log into Sky Sports. My child, on the other hand, is happily wasting his day watching the match thanks to the secure sharing features of the password manager. OK, so like TNT and splitting the atom, everything has its pros and cons.
You have to admit though, your interest in password managers has been piqued. It’s the best £1 a month you’ll ever spend.