No, Really — It’s Time to Get a Password Manager

Keep virtual villains at bay with these easy tips

Nick Wolny
Debugger
Published in
5 min readOct 28, 2020

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Photo: designer491/Getty Images

Whether it’s a huge credit card data leak or Zoombombers usurping online classes and events, it’s become increasingly obvious that insufficient password security can lead to headaches… or worse.

As a savvy reader of Debugger, you probably already have a password manager. But perhaps you know someone who doesn’t and you’re tired of explaining why they need one, so just send them this article instead.

Using different passwords for different sites helps. But even that first step leads to a drop-off in consumer followthrough. A survey from YouGov found that 71% of us use the same password for two or more accounts, and 26% of us use the same password for most or all of our accounts.

If it feels like you’re juggling a lot of passwords, you’re right. The average consumer maintains between 70 and 80 logins, and households in 2020 averaged between eight and 10 devices, with global device production continuing to rise. A report from Cisco estimates the total number of devices in use to increase by 50% between 2018 and 2023, a projection that might have been modest in light of the pandemic. More devices, particularly ones without airtight data security, mean more entry points for hackers to get in.

Having a strong password of 25 random characters for 70 to 80 accounts across multiple devices is… a mood. Oh, and you’ll also need a system to easily swap out individual passwords at a moment’s notice when a dreaded “Suspicious activity alert” email appears in your inbox. Enter the password manager, a glorious little tool that will both help you be more secure and free up precious brain space.

If you haven’t migrated to one yet, now’s the time. Indulge me the opportunity to scare you with a brief rundown of all the ways your password gets stolen.

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Nick Wolny
Debugger

Editor, journalist, consultant. Current: CNET, Out Magazine. Owner, Hefty Media Group, a marketing consultancy. 🏳️‍🌈. LA. nickwolny.com | heftymediagroup.com