There are times when using a notebook for your passwords makes sense, and there are times when using a password manager makes sense.
This article will teach you if a password book is safer then a password manager. Learn when a password manager is safer and better. And see why a password book works better for some.
Password Manager vs. Paper – Benefits of Paper
The great thing about using paper or a password book is that it’s hard to hack into. The paper is local only to you, and you can even hide it in your home. No hacker is getting to that thing through the internet that is for sure.
The most significant benefit to a notebook full of passwords is that its easy to understand. You’ve been writing your whole life and understanding what you wrote is easy. So it only makes sense to keep a notebook of passwords on the ready.
Not only that but love ones could find it and know what your passwords are in case you can’t.
There is going to be people in your life where a notebook of passwords is the only option. I’m talking about grandparents or anyone who doesn’t care enough about technology. A notebook of passwords is the only way for them, and you must respect that. So long as they use unique passwords for every account and can keep it organized they’ll be fine.
Downside of a Password Book
The biggest downside to a password book is that you’re human. It’s not a personal attack, but humans are just bad at passwords.
Let me explain in the next section.
When asked to come up with a password we always default to the first thing that comes to mind. The usual things that come to mind are our kids or pets name. With 7 billion people on Earth, it’s not too uncommon to have people and pets with the same name.
We also think we’re clever when we’re not. When told we need to use a number we often go with “123” or “098” or our lucky number which so happens that many people pick the same number. We often pick the same special character too!
None of that is as bad as password reuse. Even with a notebook for passwords we often find ourselves still reusing passwords. Password reuse is the number one issue we face with passwords. It’s hard coming up with a password at the moment when you just want into that site and don’t want to be bothered with such things.
The reason password reuse is so bad is due to other sites getting breached. So many people reuse passwords that the hackers will take the logins from one breach and try it on other sites. This is call credential stuffing, and it’s super effective.
The Biggest Issue
A big issue with password reuse is that the people who do it don’t realize how bad it is. They’ll have a few passwords and each for different levels of security. The lowest level will often be reused all the time because the thinking is “who would want to hack this account?”
The problem with that thinking is that you never know if that account will become important over time or you may enter a credit card on that account or similar that has the same password. Also, what you deem not valuable could be very valuable to someone else.
One example of this is to hack into Reddit accounts. The average user doesn’t see this account as vital because it’s not tied to them. The hackers want the accounts to manipulate what makes it to the front page to drive clicks to make more money. Getting accounts with age on them that look legit is very valuable. The person whose account that was hacked is now pissed because they have to start a new. So that account at first didn’t seem essential but slowly became important, and it’s only after the fact you realize it.
Another Reason Password Books Are Bad
Sloppy handwriting and not being organized.
I know there are some of you who have excellent handwriting and super organized. But the mass majority is not.
I have family who uses notebooks for their passwords, and even though it’s written down, they don’t know where in the book it is. They don’t know if its this or that password.
At the moment they don’t care, write it down and move on is the thinking when creating a new account.
You end up with a system that is not only worse but hard to understand with sloppy hand writing and disorganization. Why make your life any harder then it needs to be?
Why A Password Manager Makes Sense
A password manager solves all the issues we had with a password book.
A password manager can generate unique passwords for every account. Store the passwords in an app that is easy to find. The password manager can even auto-fill the passwords making our lives even more manageable.
A password manager is the best solution to this problem, but yet people still refuse to use them.
People Don’t Trust Password Managers
The biggest reason people don’t like password managers is that they don’t trust them. It’s not a trust issue if you ask me, but a misunderstanding of how they work.
I’ve created this article to prove you can trust password managers by showing you how they work. I highly recommend you read that article and even leave a comment if you have more questions on the topic.
When Not To Use A Password Manager?
There are times when it makes sense not to use a password manager and to use a notebook instead.
If you’re worried about using a password manager, I would say a good compromise is to keep your banking and email passwords out of it. These accounts are super important, and I can’t hold it against you for not wanting them in a password manager.
For your everyday accounts like Twitter, Reddit, etc. it’s okay to use a password manager for them.
One More Thing
Before I end this article, I want to say that no matter what you should be striving to keep your computer virus-free. Use anti-virus software and avoid shady sites. Not only that but keep your computer up to date with all software updates.
It won’t matter if you use a password manager or a notebook if your computer is compromised.
You might be wondering how they would be able to compromise your notebook?
There are several ways. One way is to take a picture of it with the webcam on your computer. This is not always effective but possible.
The more probable way is to sit and wait till you type it in. That’s the thing with using a notebook for passwords, at some point you still need to enter them into your computer. Even worse is someone who is more likely to use a notebook for passwords is not as tech literate and might be unaware of a computer infection so the virus could go years undetected scooping up passwords.
Need A Password Manager?
Here is our picks for password managers.
1. 1Password - Best all-around.
2. Bitwarden - Best free option.
3. Dashlane* - Best for new users as it holds your hands more.
4. Roboform* - Featured packed and been around the longest plus a free option. The only one with a bookmark manager which I've found useful lately.
*May receive a commission.