For years, there have been no good reasons to try to remember all of your passwords, as opposed to using a password manager like LastPass or 1Password. And now, the last remaining bad reason is gone: With the new iOS update, entering your passwords on an iPhone is no longer a painful exercise.
Reusing passwords is among the worst things you could possibly do for your—and everybody’s—personal security, but with each of us having dozens or hundreds of accounts, it’s quite difficult to remember an equal number of unique, strong passwords. This is why password managers exist: You use one very strong “master” password, and the manager stores and remember passwords for all of your accounts.
Not sure how to use a password manager? Follow our easy guide here.
Password managers have worked great in desktop browsers for years, because most browsers support extensions that automatically fill usernames and passwords when you navigate to that page. But most of us use our phone just as much if not more than our computers, and autofill passwords that work with the most popular password managers have only just recently come to Android and iOS.
In practice, this means that if you were using a password manager and, say, a banking app, you’d have to swap between the password manager app and the banking app, look up your username and password, and then retype or copy paste the login details. On top of that, several apps have pretty buggy copy-paste functionality on their password forms, which means you could be left tabbing between apps to type something like “x&62j*128sJT.” This isn’t always a huge deal, but it was an annoying step that, I would guess, caused a lot of people to reuse their passwords or not deal with a password manager at all.
In March, however, Android introduced password manager autofill, and Apple’s iOS 12 introduced it last week. In using iOS 12 for about a week, this single feature is the biggest quality-of-life improvement I’ve seen in any iOS update for at least several years. It’s not going to have quite as much impact on overall security as something like Touch ID or Apple’s encryption-by-default on iOS and end-to-end encryption on iMessage, but it’s the type of move that’s ultra-convenient in the short term and in the long term is going to have a major, positive impact on the average person’s security.
And so there is now no longer even a bad excuse to not use a password manager. Sign up for one if you haven’t yet.