What Is a Password Manager?

Top reasons you should be using a password manager

A hand in a front of a laptop keyboard, holding a piece of paper with password written on it.

Ian Hooton/Science Photo Library/Getty Images 

A Password Manager is a piece of software used to store and manage the passwords you use to log into online sites and services. The app stores the passwords in an encrypted manner, keeping them secure from prying eyes while allowing you to easily consult your selection of login details so you're not dependent on remembering them yourself. Keep reading to learn more about what a password managers is and why you should use them.

How Do Password Managers Work?

Think of a Password Manager app as a folder full of all your most valuable password and account details. It's a database of sorts with all the information you need stored behind your master password. That way, you only need to remember one password to use far more complex passwords elsewhere. 

After all, you're meant to use strong and unique passwords for every single website you use. Are you likely to remember hundreds of passwords? Probably not, which is why a Password Manager is such a useful pice of software to possess. 

Never reuse passwords on multiple different websites. Password leaks are more common than they used to be and if a hacker gains access to one of your passwords, it can mean they're able to access multiple websites via the same password. 

Why Should I Use a Password Manager? 

One of the biggest reasons to use a Password Manager is because it'll make your life much easier. Instead of having to remember dozens of passwords or risk reusing them, you can rely on the Password Manager to do all the hard work for you.

Most Password Manager apps also create secure passwords for you, so you don't have to worry about thinking up new ones and getting imaginative. It's all done semi-automatically saving you considerable time and effort. 

Some Password Managers also allow you to store other details, such as credit card numbers, passport details, online banking accounts, or secure notes and files. If you're keen to be extra secure, these can be valuable extra options. 

Because Password Managers also automatically fill in account details as needed, they minimize your risk of suffering from a phishing attempt, too, as your login details won't be filled in on a suspicious website. 

What Are the Downsides of Using a Password Manager?

For the most part, Password Managers are incredibly valuable apps, but there are some minor downsides. 

  • You need to remember your master password: With all your account details and passwords stored behind one master password, it's vital you don't forget it. Fortunately, most good Password Manager apps tend to have a secure backup method to retrieve your information if need be.
  • Everything is stored in one place: Having everything stored in one place is great for you, but it does mean that if a malicious individual figures out your master password, they have access to everything with minimal hassle. That's why it's vital you keep your master password secure.