As hard as it might be to comprehend, there are people out there that are skeptical over the value of password managers. Passwords are still one of the strongest defenses for protecting your personal data and the best way to keep those pesky passwords at bay is by storing them in a clever password manager. Still, many would rather risk their online safety than to use such a program.
But what’s the reason behind such behavior? To understand these motives, it’s best take a closer look at the most common issues that skeptics have with password managers and see whether these solutions are indeed as useless as they think them to be.
Problem No. 1: Lack of Time
According to a 2017 study published for the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), one of the biggest reasons for people refraining from installing password managers altogether is actually the very same concern that the average user has for any kind of computer program: they don’t have time to install, set up and learn how to use the new software.
However, this just isn’t a problem for password managers because if such a program is installed correctly, then it can be stuffed with passwords and other types of credentials in less than a minute – the average time it takes to post something on social media. And using a password manager doesn’t require much effort either since the software is basically a virtual version of a password notebook intended for simply storing login data.
Problem No. 2: Lack of Effort and Patience
Another typical concern with password managers is that adding every one of your passwords – as well as any personal data and other types of credentials – is a painfully slow, time-consuming process. Granted, there are certain password managers that have to be filled manually, but in most cases these programs come with a handy browser add-on that can import credentials from the browser in a jiffy. These extensions can work in reverse, too, by entering the logins stored in the program into their respective entry boxes on websites or applications. This means that there is no need to memorize any online passwords from that point on as the program will remember them for you and promptly recall them whenever they are needed.
Problem No. 3: Carelessness Regarding Security Threats
Even if there are more and more security breaches every year, the vast majority of internet users still take their overall password hygiene lightly. Many of the participants in the HICSS research stated that they were satisfied with not having a password manager; in fact, some of them even gave themselves a pat on the back for having come up with a seemingly unbreakable password.
Well, the bad news is that unless the right techniques are applied there is a risk of any created password being cracked sooner or later. The only way to prevent this from happening is to keep those logins in an unbreakable storage and generate passwords that are virtually impossible to hack due to their complexity. Well, surprise! These are the two very things that password managers were created for.
Problem No. 4: Trust Issues
Although this shouldn’t be a concern at all, some users don’t trust password managers because they believe that these programs are easy to hack into. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth: everything entered to a password manager’s vault is encrypted twice, once by the so-called master password – the virtual key to the stored credentials – and then another time by military-grade encryption. This means that nobody – including both hackers and the company behind the password manager – is able to see inside the vault without the master password, making these programs the epitome of online safety.
Problem No. 5: Using ‘Alternatives’
Quite interestingly, one of the reasons against using password management programs is that users consider them unnecessary seeing as the most popular browsers are all equipped with a basic password manager anyway. This approach, while understandable, is extremely reckless: not only do built-in password managers have none of the advanced protection that downloadable password managers provide but they are even less safe than password organizer books because of flaws in how they work, creating weak points for hackers to target. Simply put, the only way to guarantee that logins won’t be stolen from the user is by putting them into an encrypted vault of a true password management app.
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