Weak passwords are one of the leading causes of data breaches. A study conducted by Verizon found that four-fifths of all data breaches, in fact, are attributed to weak passwords. There are tools, however, that can create and store strong passwords for all of your accounts. Known as password managers, they can help protect you from data breaches. But there are several common myths about password managers that you shouldn’t believe.
#1) Same as Browser-Based Password Managers
Most web browsers have their own built-in password managers. Whether you use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you can elect to store your passwords in the browser. Don’t let that fool you into password managers are the same as these browser-based password managers. Browser-based password managers only store passwords locally, whereas traditional password managers store passwords on the cloud.
#2) Passwords Aren’t Secure
Some people are reluctant to use a password manager, fearing that it will place their passwords at risk for unauthorized access. There are different types of password managers, but all of the leading password managers leverage encryption. They will encrypt your passwords using an iron-clad encryption algorithm like AES-256. Once encrypted, they will store your passwords in a cloud-based vault.
#3) If Your Computer Is Stolen, Your Passwords Will Be Compromised
Another common myth is that if your computer is stolen, your passwords will be compromised. Password managers are installed locally, but you still have to use a master password to access the password vault. Therefore, even if someone steals the computer on which you’ve installed the password, they won’t be able to access your passwords — at least not without the master password.
#4) Memorizing Passwords Is Just as Effective
Think memorizing passwords is just as effective as using a password manager? Think again. Unless you have a photographic memory, you probably won’t be able to remember all of your passwords. After all, you’ll need to create a long and complex password that’s unique for each account. If you have 20 accounts, that’s 20 passwords to remember. A password manager will take this burden off your shoulders by storing all of your passwords in a protected vault so that you don’t have to remember them.
#5) Only Remember Passwords
While their primary purpose is to remember passwords, password managers come with other features. Most of them can automatically complete fields, for instance. You won’t have to copy and paste your usernames and passwords in login fields. Password managers can do it for you.