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Security FUNdamentals: Password Managers

Snippets to keep security basics top of mind for everyone!

Password Managers

Make a list and check it twice...

Lists. We make lists all the time. Some lists are easy to remember; like your favorite foods, songs or movies. But there’s one list that we all struggle to remember - our password list.

The average employee has 50 to almost 100 services that require passwords or credentials. This leads us to solve the problem in different ways. Some of us re-use passwords, which is something you should never do (one brute force hack would expose dozens of valuable accounts). Some of us write them down, but that leaves your valuable password list in one location, that someone would quickly snatch up like a hundred dollar bill laying on the ground. I’ve heard of some people that use a story-based-pattern to create passwords for each service that makes it easy for them to recall with no prompting. Finally, there are the unicorns among us that have photographic memories. I'm still holding out hope that one day that will be me.

I need some help here!

Somewhere in the middle are where the majority of the world lives, we can remember a few passwords, but struggle to memorize more than a few dozen at a time. Password managers are like the ultimate cheat code so you don’t have to worry about forgetting and don’t have to worry about someone finding your list. They are exactly as they sound: apps that manage your passwords so you don't have to. With a password manager, all you have to do is enter a fresh login, add or randomly generate a password (yes, they do that too!) and hit save. From that point on, it's the manager's sole job to remember, protect and encrypt your credentials.

What else can it do?

But that’s not the end, these apps do much more. They allow you to access your passwords whenever, wherever, across any device. And if you need to share your account with someone (like the utility bill you manage together with your flatmate or a work-related account that more than one person has access to), they give you that option, making sure the person you’re sharing your credentials with, will never actually see the credentials - because you really shouldn't share passwords. In short, password managers are great, easy to use and much, much safer for creating, storing and using passwords!

There's gotta be a catch

So what’s the catch? There is one, but it’s not a bad one. You just have to memorize one, single, password. The password manager does all the rest.

 

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