Q. My son keeps telling me I need a "password manager" app. What's that and why do I need such a thing?

A. Do you use simple passwords so you won’t forget them? Do you use the same passwords for multiple websites - so you won’t forget them?

If so, you’re hardly alone. According to SplashData, among the top 25 most commonly used passwords for 2013 was, wait for it... wait for it... “password”! Others making the list were “123456”, “qwerty”, and “111111”.

Forgetting a password is a pain, and leads to a whole thing. Password managers solve two problems.

First, they remember your passwords for you, so you can make them intentionally complex (or have the PM generate one for you).

And second, they offer a serious level of security to help minimize your exposure to online threats.

Security breaches and info dumps are increasingly common--with endless lists of account information going up for auction to the highest bidder on seedier parts of the Internet. Even if you don’t think you have at least one account name or password entry floating around--drop your email into LeakedSource or Have I Been Pwned. You’ll probably find a surprise waiting.

Using these lists, a would-be identity thief or hacker just needs to go down the list trying your username and password on sites until one works. Next thing you know, they have access to your email, social media and more.

So...in this case, your son is right! You should get a password manager!

p.s. We’ve rounded up our top five password managers for Android and iPhone based on feature set, effectiveness, reviews and user interface. Have a gander12345. :)

p.p.s. Although password managers remember all of your passwords for you, you still need to come up with one very strong master password. But strong doesn’t mean it has to be difficult to remember. It could be a sentence, a figure of speech, a phonetic spin on favorite phrase. Check here and here for some great tips on creating a strong master password.

p.p.p.s. (sorry..but this is an important topic) Every security method comes with drawbacks: If someone learns your master password, you’re back to square one. If you store your sensitive data on a USB thumbdrive, you run the risk of losing it. However, take comfort in knowing that choosing any of our offerings will put you miles ahead of having no password manager at all.