Most experts in cybersecurity suggest that computer users utilize a password manager, and I think they have a great point. These managers ensure that you can use a unique, strong password for all online account. On the flip side, there are naysayers that state a password manager isn’t as safe as you might think, as if the master password is discovered, it could give someone access to all of your information. So, who is right?

3DAccording to a recently concluded survey conducted by uSamp and sponsored by Siber Systems, creators of the RoboForm Password Manager, only 37% of survey participants use passwords that contain both letters and numbers. And only 8% report using a password management system, which can automatically create strong passwords for every site and change them frequently.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Singing Praises for Password Managers

Why do some experts sing the praises for password managers?

  • Password managers allow you to use the most secure passwords, and allow you to use a different password for every account.
  • Since most websites have their own requirements for a password, you won’t become frustrated every time you log in, and you won’t have to remember if the ampersand is before or after the capital “S.” Besides, no one can remember every single password and username combination.
  • These password managers can work across all devices and on all browsers.

The Possible Downside of Password Managers?

Though there are certainly benefits of using a password managers, some people share their concerns with this software and state some of the following reasons:

  • There is a chance of a hack, albeit a small one, and if someone discovers a master password, they have access to everything including banking and personal information.
  • You also don’t know how secure these password managers really are, especially if it is an online password manager, such as one associated with a web browser, as the data may not be encrypted properly.

Looking At Both Sides of the Fence

When looking at expert opinion, you will typically find that most of them fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to using a password manager. These people see password managers as useful, but people should use them with caution.

  • Only use applications that have good reputations and those that do not rely on third parties
  • Use password managers that alert you immediately of a breach
  • Remember, a password manager is only as strong as the master password. This password should be strong, unique and changed often.

Good or bad, it’s probably better to be safe, rather than sorry. As with anything, be smart with your password manager, and you should have no issue with its effectiveness.

Robert Siciliano is a personal privacy, security and identity theft expert to RoboForm discussing identity theft prevention. Disclosures.

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