We’ve talked about how to create a strong password before on The Tech Team’s website, there are various methods you can use to keep your login secure. Password’s are supremely important in the digital era and are often a last line of defence protecting your account with potentially important information linked to it. The same way you’d want a strong vault keeping your money safe in a bank, you also want a strong password keeping your data safe online.
One of the biggest problems with passwords is on the user’s end, we often just can’t be bothered to come up with strong unique passwords because some of us have so many different accounts and logins that it becomes a huge hassle to remember them all. What are you supposed to do, write them down? Well then what happens if somebody finds the note you’ve written all your passwords on?
While every new website or app has the potential to make our lives a little bit better or more convenient they also add on the inconvenience of more login information that we need to remember and at this point it’s just become impossible for most people to remember them all. In 2019 Google conducted a survey in which 52% of respondents claimed that they used the same password for every account they had.
This is obviously terrible from a security standpoint. Lose one account, lose them all. Occasionally hackers are able to hack company’s and get a huge list of all of their user’s passwords and other information. They then sell this information to others who use it to try and hack into other websites on which a user has the same login and password. 80% of all data breaches are caused by weak, compromised or reused passwords.
But what if you didn’t have to bother memorizing potentially dozens of passwords for all of the many websites, apps and services we use today. Well the good news is that there is a way and it’s in the form of a password manager.
What is a password manager?
It’s in the name, a password manager is a program that will generate a unique, random password for you and remember it, so you don’t have to. It calculates these unique passwords on demand and instantaneously. When you attempt to log into a website on which you have a password saved it will automatically fill it in for you to save you time. If you use the mobile app many password managers even offer fingerprint unlocking so nobody has a chance of getting into your password vault!
Malwarebytes Labs defines a password manager as “a software application designed to store and manage online credentials. It also generates passwords. Usually, these passwords are stored in an encrypted database and locked behind a master password.”
Are password managers safe?
The short answer is yes. Obviously as with anything online there are some small risks but these are incredibly small and the risks that come from having weak passwords that you can’t remember is much worse. Instances of these services being hacked are exceedingly rare, just make sure that you’re using one that is reputable and well known, we’ll list a few of the most popular ones below.
How do password managers work?
Once you create an account with your password manager of choice you will create one password known as your master password which is what you’ll need to access your ‘vault’ of other passwords. Yes this does mean that you’ll have to create and remember one password (hey, it’s better than dozens!). Once you’ve got it up and running your password manager can generate complicated and unique passwords for practically any website or service that you use. Don’t worry about memorizing these as when you attempt to login your password manager will automatically fill them in for you.
Free or premium?
Some password managers do offer premium version but for the most part we would recommend just sticking with the free service as they offer pretty much anything a regular user might want. At least try out the free versions for a while before thinking about purchasing an upgraded account.
Top 5 password managers
Dashlane – https://www.dashlane.com/
1Password – https://1password.com/
Bitwarden – https://bitwarden.com/
Nordpass – https://nordpass.com/
Lastpass – https://www.lastpass.com/
Thank you for reading, go choose which password manager you want to use and remember most password managers also have an app if you want it for your phone!