One of the best decisions I ever made related to my online life was to start using a password management app. I originally decided to do this just so I could save time. One of the features of such an app is automatically filling out the login screen for websites and apps. This feature alone will save you tons of time having to type in your email or username along with a password every time you need to log in. But this was just one of many important benefits I discovered once I started using one.
Unique Passwords for Everything
Prior to using a password manager I used the same password for most websites and apps as I’m sure most people do. However, with so many data breaches I stopped doing this after I began using a password manager. The issue is that if your username and password is breached, and you use the same credentials across most websites and apps, you’ve now potentially left yourself open to being compromised on all of those as well. You can check this website to see if you’ve been breached and more than likely you have. A password manager eliminates the need to have your password memorized because it fills out your logins for you. So beyond the convenience and time-saving factor, a password management app will also increase your security by not allowing your breached credentials from one website allow access to all of your accounts.
Passing on Your Passwords
Beyond these two great reasons for using a password manager I had another critical reason to use one. To provide a way for my family to have access to my accounts in the event of my death. Not having the ability to access my accounts could present some major challenges and complicate the estate process much more than necessary. This has now probably become the most important of all aspects of using a password manger that I’ve come to realize. You can learn more about the importance of passing on your passwords along with creating a Digital Will in this blog post. You can learn more about all aspects of creating a digital legacy in my guide.
Add 2-Factor Authentication
Along with a password manager, I also recommend using 2-factor authentication for websites and apps that support it. At least make sure to use it on a few of your most critical services such as email, financial, and other valuable services. 2-factor authentication adds an additional barrier for someone to steal your account. One method it uses for this is to send a text to your mobile phone with a code that is necessary in addition to your username and password to login. This protects you if someone were to access your login credentials by stopping them with this additional step.
Get Started Now!
Hopefully you’ve come to the realization of the value and importance of using a password management app by now. The only issue now is how to get started. There are several great apps available. I personally use LastPass which just this week announced that their service is now free across all devices. Prior to that you had to pay $12 a year to access the service through your mobile devices. There are also several other great password management services available that you should compare to see which is best for you. These include 1Password, True Key, and a list of many others compared here.