If you have trouble coming up with secure passwords or remembering the ones you’ve created for each account, password managers are a great solution.

Password managers, like LastPass, Dashlane, or the open-source KeePass, secure all of your passwords in an encrypted password vault, and keep track of them all for you.

Many of these services provide browser plugins and phone apps to conveniently retrieve your passwords on-the-fly.

All you have to do is enter one master password that unlocks the vault, providing access to all of your other passwords. (We recommend you use a REALLY strong password for this.)

From here, you can create unique passwords (like nFVkK$9Xes$uyIn7Uy5!NFUmq) for all of the different accounts you use. You can also log and access all of your passwords for every account you have.

Many password managers also have features like regular password rotation (changing your passwords on a frequent basis) and the ability to change ALL of your passwords in the event that one is compromised.

They keep security top-of-mind.

However, these services do have their drawbacks. Of course, by putting all of your passwords in one place, you run the risk of your master password being compromised, and an attacker gaining access to all of your accounts, conveniently located in one place.

Or, the password manager service provider itself could be hacked, exposing the passwords of its clients. (Many of these services architect their technology in such a way that their users’ passwords cannot be accessed even if the service itself is hacked.)

However, we feel that the pros outweigh the cons in this situation, provided you use password managers to create strong, unique passwords for each account, use a very strong master password (perhaps using the technique we discussed above), and regularly rotate your passwords.

I know it’s a bit complicated, but with so much at stake, we feel it’s worth it to invest a little time into understanding what makes a great password, and using these techniques to secure all of your personal and sensitive data.

Have ideas for how to stay secure using authentication methods like passwords or two-factor authentication? We’d love to hear them

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