Password Managers: From Skeptic to Cautious Fan

Password Managers: From Skeptic to Cautious Fan

Mike O'Connell

December 27, 2023

If you talked to me early in my tech career, I couldn’t have imagined the need for consumer password managers. I had a few sites that required secure passwords and the rest got “the generic” solution. However, the need for a more secure system grew as the internet exploded. I saw friends and family rely on everything from pen-and-paper notebooks to home-brewed encryption schemes stored locally. None felt bulletproof to me.

But over time, as threats exploded and password chaos reigned supreme across most average consumers’ digital lives, I’ve become more pragmatic. Now, I believe dedicated password managers — for all their potential risks — encourage better habits. They simplify people’s lives while providing additional guardrails around our virtual identities.

In my webinar, I break down the landscape of options out there. I’ve assessed browsers, open-sourced self-hosted systems, and turnkey cloud-based managers. Each has pros and cons. Fundamentally, cloud services seem best positioned for mass adoption. Built-in password generation, dark web monitoring, and secure sharing — these make safe habits the easiest path for non-techies.

Do I still have some lingering doubts? Of course. Attention and skepticism are still required! Your data leaving your direct control means you surrender an element of fate to the vendor. Autofill can be hijacked under certain conditions as well. And no one wants to lose everything due to a software glitch or lapse of memory.

But my goal is to provide guidance rooted in real-world experience rather than perfection. I want people empowered to evaluate tradeoffs themselves and commit to better personal password hygiene within their comfort zone. Something — almost anything — is better than the widespread password reuse I’ve witnessed daily.

If this quick read piques your interest, I hope you’ll carve out 20 minutes for my full talk! I pack a ton of nuts-and-bolts detail into an easily digestible format. Protect yourself, your business, and your family as threats only accelerate across our digital lives. Here’s to online safety and security!