By Kayla Matthews
Whether you’re logging into your email or a time-tracking interface, it requires remembering passwords. However, with all the other things you might have on your mind, the act of remembering a password — or several — could throw you off track.
Using a password manager is an easy way to maximize your output at work. It offers the following benefits.
It Could Stop You from Getting Into a Bad Headspace
For most of us, unforeseen circumstances like sitting in a traffic jam or waking up late due to a malfunctioning alarm cause feelings of disappointment and anger.
These incidents also often make people start judging themselves and wondering what they should have done to avoid the undesirable situations. When that happens, focusing on work isn’t easy — especially if the unfortunate event involves a forgotten password.
A study carried out by Centrify, an identity management company, found that 33 percent of respondents admitted to suffering from “password rage,” which could include screaming, yelling or crying in response to forgotten login credentials. Fortunately, a password manager remembers them for you, ensuring that a failure to retain them in your mind doesn’t derail your day.
It Saves Your Brainpower for More Important Things
When you can’t remember a password, a service provider may prompt you to answer a secret question to verify your identity. Although some of them are straightforward, such as your mother’s maiden name, others may not be so easy to recall. If asked which street you lived on in first grade, you may not know the answer right away.
Intel surveyed individuals and found that between personal and work-related accounts, the average person has 27 unique passwords. The same study showed that 37 percent of people forget at least one of their passwords every week. Instead of trying to remember which password you used for a particular site or answering a security question correctly, you could use a password manager and free up your thought processes for things that matter more.
It Could Keep Your Data Secure
Data breaches cost U.S. companies trillions of dollars annually. That’s in part because many employees don’t use passwords that are sufficiently secure, or they change passwords frequently enough.
With that in mind, many companies are moving toward doing away with passwords altogether and using other identity verification methods such as text messages and biometrics.
Some password managers automatically generate hard-to-guess passwords for you. Similarly, there are others that automatically change all passwords regularly. Both of these precautions could prevent you from becoming a data breach victim.
Doing damage control after such an incident certainly hinders your output as you scramble to recover files and maybe even salvage your reputation, so it’s best to use a password manager to avoid becoming a target.
Now, let’s look at a few password managers that are worth checking out:
Marketed as an ideal password manager for businesses and teams, LastPass offers a free version, and the Premium plan is just $2 per month. It works in your browser and on devices. Simply create a master password to unlock your “vault,” then let the service store the passwords you use in it. Watch for dialog messages on your screen from LastPass that ask if you want to store a password. It couldn’t be easier!
This free password manager (the premium version is $3.33 per month on an annual plan) automatically changes one or a dozen passwords for you with one click. There’s also an interface that tells you the safety level of a particular credential. If Dashlane flags it as weak, that’s a good indicator you should probably beef it up.
Check out the digital wallet feature to facilitate faster online shopping when buying office supplies for work, too. It securely stores credit card details, so you don’t have to reach for your wallet.
LogMeOnce offers two-factor authentication, including granting you access to websites with a selfie photo, fingerprint or PIN. However, if you still prefer passwords, it works with those too.
Additionally, the service — which has a free tier with paid options — offers anti-theft tools. That means if you leave your laptop at the office and are worried about the nighttime cleaners or other unauthorized users taking a peek, it’s possible to log out of accounts or incorporate a new password remotely.
The LogMeOnce interface has a “productivity dock,” as well. After browsing the options and discovering the ones you like best, add them to the dock and launch them with one click.
Improve Your Workflow with a Password Manager
As you can see, there’s no reason to repeatedly deal with the frustration and lost time that often results when you forget a password. By researching the available tools and choosing one that works best for your needs, you can maintain a task-oriented attitude and stop worrying about login details.
About the Author: Kayla Matthews writes about communication and workplace productivity on her blog, Productivity Theory. Her work has also appeared on Talent Culture, MakeUseOf, The Muse and Fast Company.