First of all, let me emphasize that it’s vitally important to avoid reusing passwords across your logins to protect yourself online. Different, complex passwords are a first-line defense against fraud and theft. Using the same password everywhere — or even just a few places — is a golden ticket for fraudsters to steal your identity, your money, and more. Americans lost about $56 billion to identity fraud in 2020, according to CNBC.
So how do we remember upwards of 30 or more complex passwords? Sticky notes are not the answer — trust me. Password managers keep all your passwords secure and easily accessible. The idea is that you only need to remember one password to open the password manager and access the rest of them. There are several options, so look for these features when you choose one:
1. Mobile Accessibility
To make sure you’ll always have access to your passwords, ensure the password manager you choose has a mobile app you can download on your phone or tablet.
2. Customer Service
Getting locked out of your password manager is no one’s idea of a good day. You’ll want to understand, before you select a password manager, if you will have help getting back in, or if you will need to abandon ship and make an entirely new account. Some paid versions offer premium customer service access.
3. Sync Options
A good password manager offer syncing across multiple devices regardless of manufacturer, meaning they work across the Apple, Android, and Windows environments.
4. Legacy Transfer
The ability to set up an alternate contact within the password manager account — and noting this information in your estate documents — will help ensure that your loved ones will have access to your digital accounts in case of emergency or upon your death.
5. Strong Security
Research the password manager to see if they’ve reported any breaches of data or security in the past. Two-factor authentication is available on some, which increases security.
The FBI recommends passwords of at least 15 characters, which it calls a “passphrase,” and may be easier to remember but harder to hack. Now’s the time to look at a password manager — before you are locked out of another account and need to reset your password.