Managing your passwords is the last thing on your mind. I get it. You are busy. There are only so many hours in the day, and you have a lot of things to do at work, home, or both. But I’m here to tell you that there is one thing you need to stop doing right now: writing down your passwords.
From identity theft to credit card fraud to even more serious crimes like stalking and physical violence – these are the dark side of what can happen when someone gets their hands on your list of passwords. A password manager is a one-stop solution to all password related problems. But if you’re not convinced, I’ll compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of using a password manager vs. writing your passwords on paper so that you can make an informed decision.
The primary advantage of using a password manager is that it’s much more secure than writing down passwords on paper.
With a strong master password and multi-factor authentication enabled, you can be sure no one will ever have access to your online accounts – not even employees at companies with whom you use an account-sharing feature.
Password managers also offer a variety of other features that can increase your online security, such as generating and storing strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and password audits.
On the other hand, if you choose to write down your passwords on paper, you’ll need to keep them in a safe place – like a locked drawer or safety deposit box. If someone gets their hands on the list of all of your passwords written out on paper (or worse yet – taped up next to your computer), they will be able to access everything about your life with just a few minutes online. That’s where the nightmare begins.
Ease of Use
Another reason why I’m in favor of using a password manager is the ease of use. With a password manager, all you need to remember is one master password, and the software will automatically fill in your passwords for all of the websites and applications you use.
Not to mention, there’s no need to remember which website uses what login information – just input your master password once and let the software do the rest.
The same can’t be said for writing your passwords down on paper. Sure, it’s easy to find a piece of paper and write everything out in front of you. But what are you going to do when the list gets too long? Are you still really going to be able to keep track of all that information?
Again, this is where password managers shine because they can store an endless list of passwords for you, and you never have to worry about this information getting into the wrong hands.
I don’t know about you, but I use more than one device daily. I have my trusty laptop for work and school, but when it comes time to relax at home, I’m often using my tablet or smartphone because they’re easier to transport from place to place.
This is where multi-platform support becomes crucial because you want all your passwords with you no matter what device you’re using. Password managers like Dashlane and LastPass allow you to sync all of your passwords between devices so they’ll be with you no matter where you go, which is incredibly convenient.
Now, think about writing your passwords down on paper. Whenever you want to use a different device, you’ve got to remember which piece of paper has your passwords and then grab that specific sheet. How many times have you forgotten where you wrote them down?
That’s right. When it comes to writing down your passwords on physical media, there’s no convenience at all because they’re not with you 100% of the time like a password manager is.
I can’t tell you how many times I had to change my password before I started using a password manager. If it wasn’t because someone managed to hack into my account, it was because I had a weak, easily guessable password. If you’re like me and have trouble coming up with strong passwords, then a password manager is the way to go.
This software can generate strong passwords for you and store them in an encrypted format so that only you can access them. And you never have to worry about password reuse because password managers create unique passwords for all the websites and applications you use.
It’s impossible to do this with the passwords on paper method. Even if you’re good at remembering passwords, you’re going to run into trouble when you have to remember multiple complex passwords. A password manager is a much better solution in this case.
Another advantage password managers have over the paper method is export security. If you ever need to access your passwords from a different computer or device, all you have to do is download the password manager software and log in.
Some password managers also make it easier for you to transfer the information in your vault to a different one without fear of security breaches.
With the paper method, you would have to write down your passwords on a piece of paper and carry it around with you. And if you lose that piece of paper, you run the risk of someone gaining access to your accounts.
The bottom line is that password managers are a more secure and efficient way to manage your passwords, and they’re becoming increasingly popular among personal and business users.
So if you haven’t already started using one, it’s time to give it a try. Sure, it may not seem like the most crucial tool to have in your belt if you’ve been writing down your password for years and nothing has happened. But you’ll be glad to have it when a cyberattack hits – and trust me, they will.