In the US, the average email address is associated with 130 different online accounts, according to a study by DigitalGuardian.   By my count, I have about 500.  That’s a lot of passwords to manage.

Infographic on password reuse

The same study also reported that 11% of users have only one default password that they use across most or all accounts and 30% rarely or never change their passwords.  Not so good.  However, most users were more security conscious.  40% reported never reusing passwords and 70% changed their passwords at least once per year.

Password security is particularly important for attorneys notes law firm IT Director Reza Ashrafi:

Client information is sacred. Regardless of whether the firm is a multinational conglomerate with clients and locations around the globe or a one-person shop with a shingle hanging near the town’s only stoplight, client information must be fiercely protected.

Per Wisconsin Ethics Opinion EF-15-01, any attorney using cloud computing (which, these days, is pretty much every attorney) must use reasonable efforts to adequately address the risks associated with it, including having an understanding of the importance of strong passwords.

Fortunately, password managers offer an easy and secure solution for attorneys and anyone else.  According to cybernews, the vast majority of cyber-security specialists agree that password managers are indeed the most secure way to protect your passwords.

A password manager is an encrypted digital vault that stores login information you use to access apps, websites, and other services.  You just remember one master password.  Password managers also help users generate strong, unique passwords and avoid the dangerous practice of repeating the same password across multiple sites. That way, if one site gets hacked, your stolen password can’t be used on other sites.  These services also simplify the process of changing passwords if your log-in credentials are ever compromised.

There are many password options available, some free and some fee-based.  Check out PC Mag’s Best Password Managers for 2021.  UW Madison users are eligible for free access to LastPass Premium.