“I don’t need a password manager! I just write them down.”
We’ve heard this sentiment several times on social media. While many of us have upgraded from writing down passwords in notebooks, on sticky pads, and random pieces of paper, we still insecurely store sensitive information on our smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
I hate to break it to you, but inn the era of data breaches, it may be time to move those passwords over to a secure app. Here’s five reasons why it’s time to upgrade to a secure password manager:
1. Your password manager won’t disappear from right under your eye.
Someone can copy or walk away with a sticky note or notebook without you noticing. Even if you think you’ve cleverly hidden your paper with your passwords, the most common hiding places are well-known. When you use a secure password manager (like Dashlane!), even if someone walks away with your device, your passwords are encrypted and can’t be accessed by anyone except you. For an extra layer of protection, several password managers also enable two-factor authentication, which requires an extra “factor” of authentication to authorize a user to access an account. Learn more about two-factor authentication with our beginner’s guide.
2. You can’t easily keep track of all your accounts and passwords on paper.
In one of our recent blog post, we asked, “Can you rely on your memory to store all of your passwords?” In sum, no. It’s virtually impossible to remember hundreds of unique, long, strong passwords for each and every one of your accounts.
While writing your passwords down seems like a viable solution, it’s still incredibly difficult to manage all of your accounts and passwords on paper. So when large data breaches–like the 2012 data breaches at LinkedIn, MySpace, and Tumblr–happen and you need to reset your reused passwords, you’re probably forgetting certain accounts and leaving them vulnerable.
Resetting your passwords is incredibly easy with a password manager! Many of them have built in random password generators to help you create a strong, unique password for your online accounts. Dashlane also has an exclusive Password Changer feature that allows you to change a password for an account with a tap or click–no extra work required!
3. Your passwords aren’t encrypted on paper.
We’ve also heard from people who don’t write their entire password on paper (good call!). They use their own methods of encryption and leave out a word or string that they reuse for other passwords. While it’s a noble attempt at protecting your data from snoops, it’s just not as strong as ciphering your data with AES-256 encryption and being the only key holder for your data.
Here’s how Dashlane’s patented security architecture protects a user’s data.
4. It’s harder to misplace your computer, cellphone or tablet.
It’s easy to lose track of a piece of paper – even one with important info on it. But you don’t typically misplace your computer–phones and tablets are debatable. If your device is ever lost or stolen, they’ll usually be protected with a password or passcode, preventing anyone from accessing your data. Unfortunately, that also means you may have lost all of your data in the process.
To protect your stored passwords, many password managers, like Dashlane, automatically lock after inactivity, and you can remotely block your Dashlane account if your device is ever compromised.
5. Your notebook doesn’t update you with important security information, like data breach alerts.
Unlike a Post-It note, Dashlane gives you the full picture when it comes to your online security. You get security breach alerts when a site that you use is compromised. Plus, the Security Dashboard shows you old, weak, or reused passwords currently protecting your accounts. A piece of paper will never be able to do that.
These are only five reasons why password managers are better at managing your passwords than pieces of paper. To learn more about what else password managers can do, check out our Skeptic’s Guide to Password Managers and Security!
If you’re not currently using a password manager, tell me why in the comments below!