Password Manager Heightens Online Security

By Troy Wolverton
The Mercury News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Password managers are programs or services that store all of your passwords in one place, whether on your computer, your phone or in a secure space in the cloud. What’s more, most of them will generate complicated, hard-to-crack passwords for you, so you don’t keep reusing “password123.”

The Mercury News

Passwords are a pain.

Actually, they’re more than that. They’re becoming unmanageable.

The average person has dozens of passwords they have to keep track of. And that number is only growing as we sign up for more apps and online services. The situation is made even worse by sites and services that require users to change passwords frequently and by widespread hacking attacks that necessitate replacing passcodes.

Many people resort to simple tricks _ using simple, easy to remember passwords; reusing favorite ones over and over; or slightly altering passwords by changing their order or substituting numbers for letters. But these passcodes are often easy to guess, and if your password on one site is compromised, a hacker can potentially gain access to your accounts on other sites.

As hopeless and frustrating as all this seems, there is a solution, using a password manager. I’ve been testing out a couple, after long resisting them, and am now wondering why I didn’t start using one sooner.

Password managers are programs or services that store all of your passwords in one place, whether on your computer, your phone or in a secure space in the cloud. What’s more, most of them will generate complicated, hard-to-crack passwords for you, so you don’t keep reusing “password123.”

Those new passcodes are typically complicated and hard to type, much less remember. But don’t worry. Many password managers will conveniently fill in passwords automatically when you go to a web site. And some will do the same when you launch smartphone apps.

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