Discover how a password manager will provide protection for your data

In today’s world we use the internet constantly. Everything can be done online, including shopping, research, and leisure. Due to this, we often find ourselves with an overwhelming number of online accounts, and with that, passwords. To be the most secure you can be, every password you create should be different, but how are we supposed to remember them all?

A recent survey conducted by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) found that 89% of people use the internet to make online purchases – with 39% doing so on a weekly basis. Amongst this, only 15% knew how to protect themselves from harmful activity. The survey also highlighted that only half of those surveyed use a strong, separate password for their main email account.

This means our online presence is leaving us vulnerable to having our passwords stolen and potentially becoming a victim of online fraud, so you could be leaking your data without even realising. The number of accounts we’re creating on websites, even websites we may never purchase from again, or apps we only use once, are increasing. During the pandemic, streaming service subscriptions hit an all-time high, and even if we’ve cancelled them since, if you re-use the password you used it still poses a risk. In order to be secure online we need to create unique passwords for every account we set up, but remembering hundreds of complex passwords can be a feat, so it’s no wonder many people use repeat passwords.

The NCSC has also published separate analysis of the 100,000 most commonly re-occurring passwords that have been accessed by third parties in global cyber breaches, which revealed that many people still use football club names, children’s names, pets’ names and “password123456” to access online services. We need to implement and normalise the use of password managers to provide people with secure passwords and protection between their accounts.

What are the main benefits of using a password manager?

There are three main reasons to use a password manager for both personal and business use:

1. It remembers everything for you

The average person is expected to remember, on average, 100 passwords. In using a password manager, you can input all of your passwords into a secure server and forget about them, allowing you to remember more important things.

2. It provides an extra layer of protection

Using a complex password is already a great way to protect your accounts, but a password manager will notify you if any of your accounts have been breached. With its memory, it also helps prevent the re-use of passwords, which will help in the event of a cyber security breach because as soon as one account is compromised, they all are.

3. Provides protection to multiple elements of your life

Having secure passwords across all devices and profiles will protect not only you, but also your employer and workplace. Repeating passwords across personal and business applications means your employer is also at risk if one of your accounts is compromised. A password manager will prevent this by helping manage separate passwords across different applications.

To get these benefits, we should all become accustomed to password managers. Many organisations are realising the benefits of password managers and providing it for all staff, with many also giving staff family passes free of charge. Password managers provide a safety blanket across both personal and business use, many showing where passwords have been in data breaches and therefore alert users to the need to update them.

Password managers in daily life

Some people already use a password manager on their mobile device. Within this are alerts if you’ve reused the same password, notifications if a data leak has occurred, and a password generator. If you prefer to create your own passwords rather than have them generated, the recommendation is using 12 characters and three random words, including numbers and special characters. Finding out the strength of your passwords can highly improve your cyber security strategy.

start from credential theft, it’s not a case of attackers breaking in anymore, but logging in.  Employees are the human firewall and awareness training on its own isn’t enough. People need tools, they need support, they need a solution which helps them manage an increasing number of logins as we become more digitally dependent. To gain knowledge on best cyber security practices, look into some free cyber security training resources.

If you are serious about your online identity and want to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of online fraud, and wish to protect your employer too, then a password manager is an essential tool.

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Melissa Hardcastle
Melissa Hardcastle

Melissa is Phoenix's in-house Identity Business Manager. Having spent over two years advising our public sector clients on all aspects of security solutions, Melissa has experience working with some of the leading security solutions on the market today. She continues to advise our customers about how Phoenix helps solve security challenges including identity, SOC, SIEM, and incident response.

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