A “Password Manager” is a software program that can help you take control of almost all the passwords that are required in order to survive in the digital world of today. There are quite a few password managers available, some better than others. Honestly, it does not matter which one you use, so long as you are comfortable using it.
For many years I have aggressively urged all my clients to use my favorite password manager, pointing out the many benefits of using the program. Not the least of the potential benefits could be a real savings in money.
One client—I will refer to her as Jane Doe—had an extremely difficult time coping with the dozens of passwords required to run her business, banking, and social media. After a frustrating couple of hours on the phone with Apple tech support and ultimately having them tell my client there was no way she could ever recover the password for her Apple ID, I pointed out to Jane that fully half of what she was paying for computer tech support was spent to recover passwords she had forgotten. I explained the advantages of using a good password manager; then I practically twisted her arm to install my favorite one on her computer and smartphone.
True to my prediction, over the next couple of years, I needed to answer fewer and fewer urgent phone calls from Jane about password problems, and she saved having to pay for many billable hours of tech support. None of her frustrations went away entirely: Needing to learn how to use a new computer program, even a program that minimizes problems and saves money, is also its own challenge.
That challenge of learning how to use a new program was one to which Jane had a lot of resistance. I am quite sure she was able to see the benefit of having fewer struggles finding passwords, for example, or paying for fewer hours of computer support. Still, I could tell Jane did not like using any new program, even one that was making her life a little less frustrating. One day at Jane’s office, I got a clue as to how resistive Jane was to changing technology when I needed to look up a password. That password was “JaneHates%$#&PasswdMgr!” Well, at least we did not have one of those I-forgot-my-password routines for the thousandth time.
Any password manager you choose to use can simplify keeping all your passwords under control, but only if you are willing to devote a bit of time learning how to use the new program. Attitude is everything. A password manager can absolutely create order out of chaos, but it can only work its magic for someone who wants it to work.
One day I heard this joke:
Question: “How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?”
Answer: “None. The light bulb will change itself, but the light bulb has to want to change.”
Charles Miller is a freelance computer consultant, a frequent visitor to San Miguel since 1981, and now practically a full-time resident. He may be contacted at 044 415 101 8528 or email FAQ8@SMAguru.com.