Are Password Managers Worth Spending Money On?

We’ve all heard about password managers, but, like with any other product, we find ourselves asking the question, “is it worth spending the money on?” The short answer is yes, but it will come down to personal preference. In this guide, my goal is to show you why we all should be using a password manager, and why the cost is totally worth it when compared to the potential cost of not using one.

If you’ve ever considered getting a password manager, consider this your ultimate guide to the benefits and cost of acquiring one. It’s easier than you think, and you’ll be taking the right steps toward better cybersecurity.

We Don’t Take Passwords Seriously Enough

The unfortunate truth of our society is that we don’t take our cybersecurity or our personal data seriously enough. When you use a password manager, you’re taking the first steps toward a more secure future. 

Social media has taught us to share information free of care or worry. Social media sites collect information like candy, selling it, sharing it, and using it to better tailor ads, learn about our behaviors, and more. It’s a truly scary thing when you look closer, but most of us brush it off as a minor cost to connect with friends, family, and the high school “friends” we actually don’t care about.

So, the voluntary surrender of precious information like our birthdays, favorite products, and more, only serves to make us more comfortable with neglecting our information. This means passwords are often thrown to the wayside as well. About two-thirds of the population reuses their passwords, most people don’t change their passwords for years at a time, and only a small percentage of people actually change their password following a data breach. Why wouldn’t you change your password after it’s been breached?!

Free Versions

Before we begin on why you should buy a password manager, let’s look at some of the reasons to at least try a free manager. Most free versions have similar features to their paid counterparts. A basic password manager is more effective than having nothing at all, and you won’t have to worry about getting a monthly bill. 

Benefits Of Password Managers

The benefits of password managers speak for themselves. Along with being able to securely store and manage all of your passwords and other credentials, you’ll get access to some useful features like password generators, dark web monitoring, and more. 

Storage, Management, and Security

How are you currently storing your passwords? This can make a huge difference in the security of your most important credentials. Storing them in files that aren’t encrypted or that multiple people might have access to is a good way to compromise your credentials. Google Docs, however secure they might be, are still vulnerable should your Google account be hacked. Plus, you risk accidentally hitting the “share” button, and sending the wrong people your entire list of passwords.

The Dark Web

The dark web is home to millions of nefarious websites, and more than its fair share of cybercriminals looking for an easy digital heist. Not to mention, billions of compromised passwords are available for sale—and yours could potentially be on the list. With many password managers, you’ll also get dark web monitoring, which scans this dark area of the web to find your credentials and information. If any information is found, you’ll be notified immediately, which should (hopefully) give you enough time to secure things before they’re officially compromised.

Maintenance

Most people forget that passwords require maintenance, just like a car or a house. You need to update passwords, change them, and polish them for maximum security. A good password manager will help you do this by sending notifications when things are out of date, compromised, or recycled.

The Real Cost Of Not Having One

Let’s say you don’t use a password manager, and one or more of your accounts becomes compromised because you used Dave1975, your name and birthday, as your password. You’ve already committed a cardinal sin by using self-identifying information, and now, both your social media accounts and mobile banking accounts have been compromised. 

Let’s say the hacker only manages to siphon a few thousand dollars from your bank account before you catch on. You’re already out $3,000, but there’s a kicker—he’s also gained enough personal information from hacking your social media and bank accounts to open several credit cards in your name. You’re now the victim of identity theft, too.

The real cost of not using a password manager can be enormous. As citizens of our modern world, we all have a responsibility to protect our data and contribute to the overall security of the web. Use a password manager. Don’t take chances with your data. 

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