What are The Disadvantages of a Password Manager?

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Password managers can be beneficial. If you have many accounts that you need to log into regularly, creating secure passwords for each account and remembering them can be very difficult. 

Password managers, such as LastPass, have other benefits. But, as is the case with any software or type of technology, there are also negative aspects to consider. 

Potential Disadvantages of Password Managers

There are a few disadvantages to password managers, so let’s look at some of the issues you might be faced with. 

They Generally Only Work for Websites

One big con that you need to consider when it comes to password managers is that most will only work for logging into websites. Most of your accounts, such as your bank, social media, Amazon account, etc., are web-based, but many are not. 

For instance, if you are using applications to log into accounts, such as a dedicated banking app for your Android phone, a password manager may not be capable of functioning with it. Moreover, when it comes to logging into your computer or your phone, a password manager won’t be able to do that either. 

They May Not Work With All Websites

Another disadvantage is that some password managers may not work for certain websites if you are using a new device to log into a website that has never been logged into before on that device. 

A password manager may not automatically recognize that site, or it might not allow the auto-fill feature to work. If this happens, you will have to log into the password manager account, look up that complex password, and then type it in manually. That said, this doesn’t happen too often, but it is a possibility.

Not All Browsers and Devices are Supported 

This disadvantage will depend on the password manager you are using, but few, if any, support every device and browser. For one, most password managers only work with specific browsers. When it comes to the big four browsers (Microsoft Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox), most password managers will only work with two of them, maybe three at the most, but rarely all of them. 

On that same note, some password managers may only work on iOS or Android. That said, as long as you consider your device type and browser, finding a compatible password manager should not be difficult.

Some Still Have Bugs and Technical Issues 

Password manager technology is still relatively new and may suffer from technical issues, bugs, and glitches. Some of the more recent versions have been known to crash at times.

For the most part, password managers that crash can be quickly rebooted in just a few seconds. However, there have been times where the software crash caused file and data corruption. This rendered the software as a whole or individual passwords useless, which then becomes harder to fix. It doesn’t often happen, not at all, but it is always possible.

The Issue of a Single Sign-on System 

The biggest potential issue you face when using a password manager is that they are susceptible to a single point of failure

Suppose a hacker were to get a keystroke logger virus onto your computer (records keystrokes made on your keyboard). In that case, they could potentially figure out your master password and instantly gain access to all of your accounts. 

Although this is not something that has happened very often, there is a possibility. A criminal could hack into your computer, phone, internet connection, or even into the supposedly secure data vault of the password manager itself and compromise everything. 

Therefore, if you plan on using a password manager, make sure that all of your devices and wireless connections are as secure as can be and that your master password is also extremely strong. 

Final Thoughts

Password managers can be hit and miss. They help make life easier when you have many passwords to remember, and you want them all to be complicated enough so that nobody can guess them. 

However, as you can see, password managers also have drawbacks that need to be considered. That said, as technology evolves, this kind of software should become even more secure. 

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Jennifer Evans
President, @B2BNewsnetwork (launched Nov 2014). Content, community and analytics obsessed. Inventor @squeezecmm. Past chair, @itac_online @whiteribbon