If you’ve got a favorite password, you’re already in trouble. A favorite password means that you’re using it on a lot of different websites. Maybe it’s tied to your Gmail account, your bank account, your main credit card, and your login to your business. It’s convenient, it’s unique, and you can’t imagine anyone ever breaking it.
All that sounds great until the day you’re in the airport waiting to catch a flight and decide to log onto the free wireless network to check some baseball scores and your bank account balance. The problem is that it’s not the real wireless network sponsored by the airport that you’re logging onto, but a dummy WiFi connection set up by a hacker sitting in the airport terminal.
The websites you visit are visible on his screen, as are your keystrokes when he sends some spyware your way. The hacker gains your username and password for your bank account. After checking out your account and making notes for some later experiments to see what he can do with your money without you noticing it.
As you surf the web, he makes notes of what sites you go to, especially the ones that require a password. He’s got your email address now and can start experimenting with that plus your bank password. To his delight, you’ve used your main password for just about everything, and your whole life is slowly being opened up like a tin can to someone who is intent on taking as much of it as they can.
Sound like an outlandish scenario? Count the number of websites where you use the same password before you go dismissing it. It’s human nature to use the same password again and again because remembering 15 different complex ones just doesn’t seem possible.
The Power of Password Managers
Password managers do everything possible to reduce your stress and increase your security. They are not foolproof, and if you cannot remember your main password, you’re in for a grueling recovery process, but they are far better than the alternative.
Instead of floundering through 20 complex passwords to control all of your data, password managers such as Dashlane only require you to remember one master password. It will be a complex thing, full of words that don’t really go together, irregular capitalizations, and at least one or two random symbols and numbers, but all of those things put together will equal one nearly impossible to crack security system designated to keep all that you hold dear to a new high level of safety. Remembering that the master password is paramount to your safety. It is basically the key to the vault in which all your other passwords are stored. While Dashlane and other password managers do have fail-safes in place should you forget the primary password, it is a difficult process that ends in you having to redo all your security protocol again to set everything back up. Once you’ve got the master password memorized, you simply have to enter it anytime you want to access one of your accounts and you’re in.