Drake Software blog for tax pros, covering tax, IRS news, and more

It May Be Time to Use a Password Manager

It May Be Time to Use a Password Manager

Are you having trouble dealing with all your passwords?

Let’s face it, passwords are becoming a problem.

Following best practices for data security means creating unique passwords for all computers, networks, and online accounts. Unfortunately, the number of accounts you’re supposed to protect is growing exponentially:

  • PC login
  • Network login
  • ISP account
  • Personal email address
  • Work email address
  • Professional tax software login
  • Online banking and credit card accounts
  • Online retailers (Amazon, BestBuy, Target, Walmart)
  • Mobile trading applications (Binance.us, Charles Schwab, Coinbase, E-Trade, TD Ameritrade, Webull)
  • Social media (Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter)
  • Online television account (cable/satellite)
  • Mobile carrier account
  • Streaming services (HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock, Prime Video, Twitch, Youtube)
  • Video game accounts (Battle.net, Epic Games, GOG.com, Nintendo Online, Origin, Playstation, Steam, Xbox)

Even if you don’t check every box in the list, there are probably a half-dozen unique passwords you still have to memorize—and some need to be changed every six months!

The sad reality is that we have to stay one step ahead of identity thieves. After all, if you use the same password for your email address and mobile banking app, identity thieves will have a much easier time stealing your money. Luckily, a password manager can help you deal with password bloat.

What is a password manager?

Password manager software is designed to securely store all of your passwords in one convenient location.

“Most people create weak passwords and reuse them for multiple accounts which drastically increases the chances of having multiple accounts hacked,” Drake Software Chief Compliance Officer Suzanne Vanderpool explains.  “Using a password manager that automatically creates complex and secure passwords for each account greatly reduces this risk. But it is very important that you remember the one and only password you will need to access your password manager.”

While the primary benefit of a password manager is cutting the number of passwords you have to remember down to one, there are other benefits as well:

  • Create secure passwords automatically
  • Schedule automated password changes
  • Autofill passwords during login
  • Provide a user-friendly dashboard

Another thing to consider is the type of password manager you want to use, whether software that’s installed on your device, an online password manager, or a hardware-based solution. If you’ve never even heard of a password manager, it can be difficult to know where to start.

How do I choose a password manager?

Picking the right password manager means finding the set of features that best suits your situation. Do you want to install an app on each device, or would you prefer to login to an online service? Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and ensuring that the platform features adequate encryption to protect all of your accounts.

“There are many password managers, such as Dashlane, RoboForm, and LastPass,” Suzanne says. “They all have different features and are compatible with different operating systems and browsers. We recommend you do your research to find the one that will best fit your needs and make sure it has multi-factor authentication. Remember, your password manager houses all of your important passwords, so you want to keep it as safe as possible.”

If you’re having trouble with the deluge of Google results for “password manager,” CyberNews is a good place to start

Ryan Norton

Whether designing superheroes, penciling caricatures, or just doodling, I always knew I was going to earn some sort of art degree while in college. That was my goal before I decided to trade Edgar Degas for Edgar Allan Poe during a Freshman English class. The BA in English soon morphed into a double-major in English and Philosophy, eventually becoming an MA in English. It only makes sense that I learned of a writing opportunity for a local marketing firm while teaching a first-year college English course. Before I knew it, I was writing and editing tax-related articles for Taxing Subjects, and this has been my home since 2014.