A reader commented on Amanda’s article about the Dashlane 5 password manager with a valid concern:
“What if Dashlane gets hacked? Can the company give me a 100% guarantee that it will not be hacked? I personally believe a personal notebook with my accounts and passwords are far safer than any online provider.”
A password manager is a program that will store all of your passwords in a “vault” that can be unlocked with your master password and then inserted as necessary when you need to log onto accounts online. Obviously, no password manager can guarantee they won’t ever be hacked. Neither can your bank, credit card, or even government agencies. And a notebook is a great option, but there can be drawbacks.
A notebook can be lost or stolen. It could be partially ruined by a spill or destroyed by a pet, fire, or flood. It’s only usable if you have legible handwriting and the ability to read from the notebook and type in the password correctly each time. For some folks with vision or mobility issues, this can be a problem. Also, if you need passwords in multiple places, it means that you’ll need to tote that notebook around with you there’s a greater chance of it being lost or stolen. And most importantly, you have to remember to enter the password into the notebook and enter it correctly. Because with passwords capitalization, spaces, and irregular characters count.
You’ve done the most important thing, you’ve found the method that works well for you and one that you feel secure with.