What is a password manager, and why do I need it?

  • August 28, 2019

“Toto, I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore”. When Dorothy uttered those famous words in the 1939 movie, “The Wizard of Oz”, little did she know that she would be quoted so many times in the years since then, but it certainly rings true regarding the securing of your computers eighty years later!

Consider the following timeline of computer security:

  • 1980 – Security was making a periodic backup of your data, often stored on multiple floppy disks!
  • 1990 – With the advent of the internet, antivirus software now became necessary.
  • 2000 – Email spam became a real problem, and the spam blocker was created. Also, we started utilizing passwords.
  • 2010 – Multiple security solutions started arriving on the scene, including more powerful firewalls and applying Windows updates became an ongoing process.
  • Today – Many more tools have arrived on the scene to help protect you, including Malware protection, monitoring tools to notify you when there is an issue, employee training and testing tools, password managers, and multi-factor authentication. Data backups have evolved to be an ongoing process, happening as often as every fifteen minutes.

It isn’t a coincidence that the number of tools has increased in recent years. With the attacks firms of all sizes have been victims of, securing your devices has become more and more of a challenge. For the sake of space, here is just one of the more recent solutions that businesses should consider.

Password Management: When it comes to managing your passwords, I have identified four types of users:

  1. Users that have the same password for everything. This is a recipe for disaster as sooner or later one of their web sites will get hacked and then the whole world has access to all of your information.
  2. Users that have unique passwords for each site, and write them in a log that is in their top left or right drawer. This is better in that only the people that have access to the top drawers can access all of their confidential info stored in the internet. Unfortunately, this can be a lot of people.
  3. Users that memorize a variety of catch phrases with a variety of schemes to login to web sites. This is better in that they are unique and safe, but this becomes quite challenging to manage and segregate all of those passwords in your head.
  4. Users that utilize a password manager to manage all of their unique passwords.

Of the four methods listed above, the password manager is clearly the best solution. Since you access many sites that need to be secured, why not utilize a tool that can keep track of all of them. If you consider that you have automated many tasks that you used to do manually, why not use a tool to manage passwords? This will allow you to utilize your brainpower to be creative in solving business problems and creating new solutions instead of memorizing letters, numbers & special characters!

Please note, we do not recommend using your computer browser to be your password manager. All it takes is someone to hack or steal your PC and they have all of your passwords. Instead, there are many online password managers available. You just memorize one long and secure password and the password manager takes it from there!

Why take all of these security measures? Internet criminals are hard at work. If you are not proactive, you are at risk to be their next victim because Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore!