A reader, Mary, asks, “Do I need a password manager app? What prevents hackers from breaking into that app and gaining access to all of my passwords at once? Can’t I just put them all into my Notes?”
It really depends on how you use passwords. If you tend to just use one computer or mobile device and do all your shopping and logging in from there, you’d benefit from a password manager that can generate stronger passwords and keep track of them for you. (Some of them will auto-fill them in to websites so you don’t even have to type them in.)
If you use several different computers and mobile devices, it gets more complicated because you’ll need to find a password manager that works across all those platforms such as “LastPass” or “RoboForm.”
It’s a lot less likely that someone will break into your phone or computer and hack into your password manager than it is that someone will hack a major website where you shop or take advantage of a weak password you’re using. Good managers offer several ways to secure your master password including a fingerprint scanner, a physical keychain code device or other ways to provide “Two-factor authentication.” Nothing is 100-percent unhackable, of course, but you’re better protected with stronger passwords.
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