We all know we’re supposed to change our passwords frequently, make them complicated, and use different ones for each site/service, but it can get really difficult to remember them all. Browsers can help you remember them, but do you have faith in that? We asked our writers, “Do you trust your browser to manage your passwords?”
Damien answers a curt “absolutely not.” He doesn’t trust browsers. He uses a password manager app to manage his passwords.
Phil just keeps all his passwords in a book by his desk. “That way someone can’t just tap in and steal them; they have to actually come to my house to get them manually.” Plus, he figures it’s much easier to deal with them one at a time.
Ada also keeps her passwords written down on a pad. She only trusts her browsers with passwords for unimportant sites. She does note, “I do consider the book a single point of failure, meaning if it’s gone/destroyed/stolen, etc., it will be a pain to restore all the passwords.” She’s been considering making a copy of it and storing it in a separate location, but it makes it difficult since she’s always adding, changing, removing, and has it all in “super cryptic handwriting.” She jokes that she feels sorry for any thief for having to deal with it but considers it a safer option than a browser.
Alex, like Damien, also answers “no way.” He considers browser storage to be the weakest form of password storage and uses a dedicated password manager (Dashlane) to keep track of his passwords, admitting “I don’t even know the passwords to most of my accounts,” as they’re just randomly generated strings.
Fabio uses Dashlane to handle his passwords as well. “Saving your password on your browser is the worst thing you can do.”
Ryan admits he doesn’t trust his browser and doesn’t use a password manager either, even though he uses different passwords for mostly everything. He assumes it’s because he’s “a bit paranoid.” He points out that he’s read that “passwords are essentially useless since anyone determined enough can crack them,” so he thinks maybe he should be a little more trusting.
I take the same path as Ryan, but for me it’s because I am trusting. I use my browser and don’t use a password manager. The sites where I shouldn’t use the browser won’t allow me to save my password anyway, such as PayPal or my bank. That said, I also started keeping a list of my passwords, as I switch browsers frequently. Instead of paper, I keep them in an Evernote file and keep the app locked on my iPad and iPhone. That way I can always access them wherever I am. And like Ada, I make the list cryptic.
Do you do the same as the majority of our writers and refuse to use the browser? Do you keep them in a separate handwritten file or do you use a password manager? Do you trust your browser to manage your passwords? Join our conversation in the comments section below.