The Bar News

Yes, You Need a Password Manager

Are all of your important passwords written down somewhere? Maybe on a sheet of paper in your desk? If so, it's probably time to upgrade to a password manager. Barron Henley writes in the March Illinois Bar Journal.

"A password manager is a program that can securely store and organize passwords, login credentials, credit card information, bank account information, IDs (driver's licenses, passports, etc.), and any other piece of information you might need (e.g., your children's social security numbers, your Delta frequent flyer number, or the license plate number for your car)," Henley writes.

Password managers enable you to keep your sign-in credentials in one place and access them from your computer, phone, or other device, Henley says. "All password managers will generate and store strong passwords so you don't have to make them up," he writes. "Password managers inform you if any of your passwords are weak and recommend that they be changed." They can also "tell you how many different websites are using the same password (it's not recommended that you use the same password for everything)" and "notify you if security breaches are reported for any of your accounts," Henley writes.

Get pointers on choosing the right password manager in the March IBJ and by visiting the password manager comparison chart at ISBA's Practice HQ.

Posted on March 15, 2018 by Mark S. Mathewson
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Member Comments (4)

This sounds like a horrible idea. The whole rationale for passwords is that people can and will hack into websites where you have sensitive information. So what happens when (and not if) this password-storage site is hacked? Then the bad guys have everything.

I have over 100 user/password combinations. I write them down on a secure piece of paper. Paper is back: the most secure way to send a  message is on paper by courier.

Using this proposed site would make my life more complicated, and less secure. 


Pretty much my thoughts as well.  Everything digital or on the internet is "hackable".  So what happens when the "secure" password manager gets hacked?  No one thought the credit bureaus were susceptile and look what happened!

No thanks. I will just have to do it the old fashioned way.

I pretty much agree with both Sabrina's and William's observations.  I keep my passwords in a master note on my iPhone - which, by the way, I periodically backup to my laptop.  So if my phone ever has a problem, I can easily restore it.  Pretty simple.  And it's free - unlike these password managers which appear to have some type of annual fee.

I think we're always being sold on this idea of "You must have!" and usually there are other less complicated and better ways to handle things.  And as far as I know, my iPhone has never been hacked.

Sorry, but I am going to disagree with all of you based on more than 20 years of helping lawyers with their technology. Using a password manager is 1) not less secure than writing them down on paper and 2) not complicated. You should be using a different password for every site. Having a password manager allows you to remember 1 complex password that you can change regularly and leaves managing the rest to the program including generation of strong passwords, secure and encrypted notes and the ability to share your information securely with those that you select. You also have the ability to backup your database and save it. If you re uncomfortable with the cloud products such as Lastpass, there are programs that you can install locally on your device that stores the information locally such as Keepass.

The bigger questions is if you are not using Two Factor Authentication as well, why aren't you?

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