One of the many values of 1Password is that we make it faster and easier to use strong, unique passwords everywhere online. That’s great if you already have a good handle on why password strength matters for online security. But we know that not everyone does.
If you’re ever in a position of needing to explain the benefits of using a password manager – whether to a friend, family member, boss, or colleague – this post is for you. We hope this helps you share the value of stronger online security.
Online threats are on the rise
A great place to start is with the problem a password manager solves. We try not to be scaremongers, but at the same time, everyone should know that the internet can be risky to use. For all that it adds to our everyday lives, there are also innumerable threats in the shape of criminals, hackers, and con artists who want access to your personal information. Stealing passwords and logins is fundamental to their work.
Websites and the companies that operate them are frequently hacked. This leads to data breaches and the theft of important data – like email addresses and passwords, the information needed to sign in to their site.
A few data points to help quantify the scale of the risk:
- The first quarter of 2020 saw 2,935 reported data breaches. (Security Magazine)
- The third quarter of 2020 saw 8.3 billion pieces of data exposed by breaches. (Security Magazine)
- In January 2019, 2.7 billion email and password pairs were shared in what is known as Collection No. 1. (as discovered by friend of 1Password, Troy Hunt)
One breach can open many doors
With an increase in the rise of threats, some people still aren’t worried if a site they use has been breached. Common arguments you might hear are: The breach was on a website they haven’t used in ages, or it’s a website that doesn’t store any personal or important information. After all, many of us create accounts to read free articles, it’s no big deal if those accounts get breached, right?
Wrong. Every breach needs to be taken seriously and the password for a breached website should be updated as soon as possible.
The 2021 Verizon Data Breach report found that 85 percent of data breaches are caused by a human element – like weak or reused passwords. With so many people reusing passwords there’s a good chance your friends, family, and coworkers have repeated the same password (or a similar one) for multiple websites.
Every breach needs to be taken seriously.
Criminals use stolen login credentials to try signing in to other services that do have important and personal information – like online shops and email accounts. This is viable precisely because millions of people reuse passwords. So, while the breached site may seem insignificant in terms of the value of the data exposed, the real value comes in the stolen passwords that are likely reused somewhere else.
Some people even think they’re using unique passwords for every account by adding slight variations to one password. For example, using a password likefor one account and for another account. This might seem like a unique password because it’s different, but hackers can predict these sight variations and will test them during their brute-force attacks.
1Password makes passwords easy
The answer to these threats, and others, is to encourage everyone to use truly unique passwords for every account and website they use. That’s where 1Password comes in.
Yes, 1Password costs a few dollars a month, but that’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with using good passwords everywhere. We don’t provide a free service, because free services mean compromises in quality, privacy, or both – not a good look for a password manager, in our opinion.
A 1Password Families account helps you and the important people in your life form, and use safe password habits. And, if you’re trying to convince your company to adopt a password management system, you should check out our guide to creating a culture of security.
It’s OK to start small
Nowadays, the average person has 100 passwords to remember. Changing all passwords to be unique may seem like an overwhelming task when trying to convince someone to improve their security. If that’s the case, remind them that changing even one weak password is much better than changing none. Their main email account is a great place to start, followed by any sites where payment details are stored.
And fear not – if you’re worried about becoming tech support for those you’ve convinced to try 1Password, don’t. If your friends have any questions as they learn to use 1Password, our wonderful support team and support community forum is available around the clock.