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Who Needs a Password Manager Anyway?

Updated: Jan 15

Password Manager Series Part I



“I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any more passwords left in me.” This commonly shared social post came a week ago from a relative. I feel her pain. Obviously, she doesn’t use a password manager and isn’t about to start. That begs the question; who needs a password manager anyway?


A decade ago I was introduced to the world of password managers. Initially suspicious, I assumed our company’s overtaxed IT director was seeking an easy way out of responsibility for the team’s internet use. Actually, he was, but not out of laziness. 


I’ve worked for or with small to large corporations since, and each utilizes a dedicated password manager. Meanwhile, I’ve never seen the same one used twice. Time has improved technology, yet each still has its quirks, and you’ll never have to look far to find a teammate who doesn’t like the PM the company uses.


Who Needs a Password Manager Anyway?

Who Sets Up Your Password Manager?


Look in the mirror. Whether for work or personal use, you must set up your own. It will be tedious if you want to add all of your favorite websites at once, but you don’t have to do that, and I wouldn’t recommend it. Each site’s security is different and requires a little TLC.


I’m used to jumping through hoops every time I sign into a banking site. It’s like trying to sneak into Disney World even though I already have a ticket. On the other hand, to sign into my local grocery store, they’ll leave the key under the mat for me.


I used to think you're all set once you enter your site information into your password manager vault. The PM then encrypts the passwords and auto-fills your entry into each site every time you go there. Dream on, Bob. I’ve always had a vivid imagination.


The Key To Your Vault

The Key To Your Vault


You must create your vault password, which cannot be retrieved if lost, adding a layer of security. Can a hacker get into a PM vault? Sure they can. Those guys are great at that stuff, but the PM companies claim the encryption is nearly impossible to break.


This brings up another point. Do you want to manually enter your PM password whenever you wish to view your vault? Probably not, but that’s part of the deal.


Will PMs automatically import your existing passwords? Sometimes. Will they autofill the secure site the next time you log on? Sometimes. It depends on the PM you have, the tier of services, and if the moon and stars are aligned correctly. However, the ease of going into your PM vault and grabbing the username and password is worth it.


Setting up your password manager for work is typically smoother. A reputable organization will have best practices in place and support available.


What’s the Big Deal About Password Managers?

What’s the Big Deal About Password Managers?


To those used to using them, they aren’t a big deal. My guess is that most learn them at work, therefore it becomes second nature. I’m reaching out to those not quite sure. I struggled for a while with each one before figuring it out, and I discover something new every day. 


There have been breaches, so all is not pristine. I’ve searched dozens and dozens of password managers and sources in the past two weeks, and nearly all of them recommend using one. 


As for using your browser’s password manager, that’s a different story. I’ll address that and further information later in my Password Manager Series. In the meantime, for security purposes, we may ask you to enter a one-time verification code to confirm your identity.

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End of Part I




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