The Pros and Cons of using a Password Manager

Many cybersecurity professionals can’t stop recommending using a password manager to ensure your online safety. There are however some downsides that you should be aware of. Used as a vault for all your login credentials they can be a seemingly invaluable tool. Anyone that uses more than a handful of services online would benefit greatly from using separate unique login credentials. But do you really need a password manager? To help you decide, let’s look at some pros and cons so that you can make a better more informed decision.

The Pros

They’re Easy & Convenient

One of the most prominent and noteworthy benefits of using a password manager is the fact that they make keeping track of your login credentials exceptionally easy! All you do is log in to a site once and your credentials will be saved allowing you to automatically log you in the next time you visit. Any good password manager will also sync your passwords across all your devices for added convenience.

They Offer Stronger Protection

You should never use simple, easy to guess passwords, and they should be different for all sites you visit. Keeping track of all these complex and unique passwords can be time consuming, and keeping them safe equally as difficult. A good password manager will generate unique random passwords and store them for you with little to no extra effort.

They Protect More Than Just Credentials

A password manager does more than just keep all your passwords safe. You can also store any kind of important info ranging from online security passwords to credit card details and more. A password manager can act as your online diary with all your secrets stored in a single location.

They’re Simpler & Efficient

Whether you want to share your passwords with a family member or change any compromised password instantly, a password manager lets you do that with a few simple clicks. When it comes down to it, a password manager is all about making your online life simpler, safer and more convenient.

The Cons

You Have All Your Eggs In One Basket – Literally

The most glaring and concerning issue with using a password manager is that if someone manages to gain access to your password manager then they have access to all your online credentials for every site. As most password managers use *proprietary code - you have not way of knowing just how safe your data actually is.

*There are some open-source privacy managers which are totally transparent in their security practices.

A Prime Target For Hackers

Rather than targeting all your accounts separately, a hacker will always opt for targeting one account that has all the info for all other accounts you have. If the tool itself gets hacked then all your info will be compromised. This has happened in the past and most recently with OneLogin which suffered a major data breach.

They Can Be Expensive

Whether you’re on a PC or a MAC, using a password manager to protect your online privacy can **get pricey. As a subscription-based service (as many current privacy managers are), the cost of using one can easily stack up over time and in some cases, as stated above may just not be worth it.

*I personally find the built-in password manager in Safari to be more than adequate for my needs. 🙂

In the end, it all comes down to whether you prioritize convenience over the minimal (but real) risk factor. Some password managers do make the effort to protect your online privacy but even they can’t offer you complete protection against any malicious hackers.