Given how much the digital world has penetrated into our lives, it’s no wonder that the average person has sometimes well over twenty accounts across various websites and software. Of course, the prospect of having twenty accounts, or more, comes along with remembering individual passwords and usernames – and certain other criteria if it’s online banking accounts –and we all know how much of a drag that is. The term ‘password fatigue’ has recently been coined to address this exact issue: it is basically the feeling you get when you’re faced with an avalanche of passwords (good luck if you’ve gone out of your way to create what you’d call ‘un-crackable’ passwords). Coupled with the fact that websites have become more demanding in terms of passwords, be it along the lines of using more than eight characters or incorporating both uppercase and lowercase letters (and let’s not forget numbers and symbols), ‘password fatigue’ doesn’t really sound all that ridiculous for a moment there.
Rather than forcing yourself to remember each and every password – or even worse, write them somewhere and get yourself hacked – it would be best to entrust yourself to the software known as ‘password managers’. Also known as ‘password wallets’, they are basically software geared towards keeping track of all your passwords, which are in turn protected by a single ‘master password’ (you will have to remember this one though). Sounds pretty good, right? Of course, that is the basic gist – password managers include layers upon layers of protection against possible attacks, and certain software will even have multi-factor authentication (i.e. in addition to a master password, there’ll be other methods to verify your identity, like fingerprint or retina scans); these kind of advanced protection methods are however more appropriate for corporate password management. These are also quite pricey, and you might not really need that much of an extensive security.
However, not all password managers are especially geared towards corporate password management – there are many built for individual use. Some of them are even freeware, and your computer and other devices probably also come with a password manager themselves (for example, Windows computers have the password manager called Credential Manager). You can also find cheap but secure password managers on the internet; most of them come with additional helpful services like generating strong passwords for your accounts.
Of course, remember to pay attention when shopping online for password managers: like any other software, the probability of fake password manager software exists, and surely, they won’t guard your passwords if anything. As always, take care to read reviews and try to stick to well-known software to reduce risks of being hacked.