I don’t know about you, but coming up with a new password always feels like a burden. Not only does it have to have a minimum number of letters (upper and lowercase, of course), digits, and special characters, but I also need to have it memorized from that point forward. I inevitably mix up which password goes to which platform, click “Forgot Password,” and you know the rest.
Here at Presence Global, we wish to spare you this frustration and give you the best advice to keep your private information safe on the internet. Our co-founder and CEO Mukul Kumar recommends the implementation of a password manager. Every password of yours is stored within by the manager within a vault, allowing for more complex and unique combinations.
“Having a separate password for every single website application is good practice. It’s good hygiene,” Kumar says. Every password within the manager’s system is encrypted for an extra layer of protection. The only password you have to remember is the master password that gives access to your manager. The master password should be challenging and elaborate in its own right.
Many have voiced concern that the employment of a password manager is not as foolproof as it sounds, that those sites are no safer from a hacker’s grip than any other. And while it is true that vulnerability still exists within this technology, a password manager is still superior to the other options of attempting to memorize many different passwords, putting them on paper for someone to copy, or simply recycling the same password for multiple apps. As Washington Post columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler explains, “There’s no ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe.’ There’s ‘safer than’ or ‘better than.’”
During one of our recent weekly Presence Global intern meetings, Emmett, Erica, and I signed up for a popular password managing application to assess the process. It was honestly quite simple, the act of creating an account and then transferring over login credentials from existing website accounts.
We soon realized that the vault would be free during a one-month trial and would then jump to a $48 official starting cost and a $4/month payment thereafter. Understandably, the cost might be a turnoff, but the peace of mind given by securing your personal information inside a protected vault can make it worth the cost. As Emmett put it, “You wouldn’t want a free password manager.”
As for the future of online authentication, Mr. Kumar not only predicts, but hopes for, password obsolescence. Calling the original practice “convoluted” and “unmanageable,” he believes that biometric authentication (by one’s fingerprint or pupil) will become more mainstream. Another option is a one-time login link, where the user verifies their identity in real-time. For now, though, a password manager seems to be an excellent choice. For more password protection tips, check out Antara Ghosh’s blog post.