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Division of Information Technology

Using a password manager

A password manager is a computer program or application that helps a user store and organize multiple passwords.  Password managers should provide an encrypted environment and require that users create a master password.  With a strong master password, password managers are a secure and recommended tool.

Why use a password manager?

Bad password practices are a very real threat to information security, at home and at work.  Hackers frequently try to steal passwords for misuse.  Further, people have a tendency to create some pretty bad passwords!  We are typically not very good at protecting passwords, either.  Have you ever seen anyone get into these bad password habits?

  • Using very short and/or non-complex passwords
  • Using the same password to protect multiple services
  • Auto-saving passwords into a Web browser
  • Writing passwords on sticky notes (on the monitor, under the keyboard)
  • Keeping passwords written in a notebook or journal
  • Storing passwords on the computer (or in the Cloud) in a text file (or notepad)

Password managers can help users break those bad habits by adding convenience and security to the computing experience.  By storing many passwords in one encrypted repository, it is easier to maintain good password habits.  Since users won't need to remember dozens of passwords, it is much simpler to create (and use) a strong and unique password for each service they utilize.  Also, according to the password management solution you choose, you may be able to take advantage of some of these benefits:

  • Login assistance
  • Cloud-sync across devices
  • Credential organization

The University of South Carolina does not currently offer an enterprise solution for password management.  However, we encourage you to learn more about the solutions below to determine if a password manager is right for you.


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