Gadget lovers. We all know one. Perhaps you are one.
People who love gadgets appreciate the freedom their devices give them to access the information and services they want at any time. But gadget lovers often take big risks with security. They may have an assortment of favorite apps that are spread across their phones, tablets, game players, PCs and even watches. Remembering unique passwords for all of them is simply impossible.
Some multi-device aficionados might be tempted to default to using the same password again and again (60 percent of online users do that). Others may opt for the convenience of storing their passwords in a text file or email message.
Both are bad ideas. Sure, fumbling for passwords on a tiny device is inconvenient. But there’s a better approach: a password manager.
A password manager ensures that you have access to everything you need to access any service from any device. A good one provides equivalent functionality across desktop and mobile devices, and support all the browsers and operating systems the gadget lover will ever use. The beauty of a password manager is that you only need to remember one password access your entire trove of services (so make sure you choose a strong and unique one!). Login once and everything else is automatic.
It’s also a great tool for making sure your various digital identities are secure. That’s because a password manager generates unique and secure passwords for every site and app you use. It takes care of remembering them for you and automatically fills in your login credentials when you open the site or app. You literally only need to remember one password.
There’s a secondary benefit many people don’t realize: A password manager protects you from phishing attacks. A favorite tactic of phishing scammers is to trick their victims into clicking on a link that takes them to a webpage that looks legitimate but is actually a false front intended to capture a password or credit card number. A good password manager won’t fill in a form unless the web address is one it recognizes. If the automatic form field doesn’t work, the page probably isn’t legit. Given the many small devices don’t display URLs – or make them difficult to see – this is an essential mobility feature.
Mobile device lovers should appreciate another compelling virtue of password managers: More than three million phones are lost every year in the US alone. If a phone isn’t secured – and 32% of them aren’t, according to a recent Keeper survey – then anyone who finds it can read any plaintext files that are on it. Passwords stored in text or email messages are sitting ducks.
For all the reasons above, it’s a good idea to gift the gadget geek in your life with a password manager. Look for one that uses strong encryption (we recommend 256 bit AES and PBKDF2, at a minimum), supports biometric authentication and has secure sharing capabilities.
Also, consider one that includes secure vaulting capabilities. That’s because sensitive documents and images shouldn’t be stored locally on a mobile device. Storing them on a cloud drive isn’t necessarily any safer, particularly if the owner is logged in automatically. A secure vault not only ensures protection but also enables sharing with other trusted users. And what gadget lover doesn’t appreciate a little peace of mind?