To be secured online is to use a unique and strong password for each service you are subscribed to. The use of password managers has become a necessary tool in helping to keep our various online accounts secured. Therefore, keeping our accounts secured has become a great concern, because a breach in one can cause us more or even grant access to others. Moreover, we’re subscribed to various services on the internet and maintained an account with. These services, as usual, would demand us to use stronger passwords as a security measure against intruders trying to access our accounts.
Hence, trying to keep several strong passwords in memory can be daunting and we can easily forget the combination or miss out on the right characters. For a strong password nowadays would have letters, numbers and special characters. This has become the standard and we’re advised never to use words found on the dictionary. Then, how do we keep a strong password since writing it down somewhere is also a security risk? However, a lot of our dealings both work and leisure are done online using services with subscribed accounts and the need to keep them safe is paramount. Therefore, the need to create very strong passwords and manage them can only be achieved by using password managers.
What is a password manager?
A password manager is simply a keeper of all your passwords for easy access to your login accounts. All your passwords can be locked in a password manager to save you the stress of memorizing them each time you want to login. Having access to a password manager can be granted by a master key. The master key is the major and only password you’ll have to know and memorize while others for your accounts will be controlled and managed for you. Notwithstanding, password managers do beyond storing your password. They can help you generate unique and stronger passwords which can be saved without you worrying about memorizing them.
How is password managers used?
A password manager can either be an app or a browser extension. As an extension, when you visit a website to login into your account. Instead of manually typing your password into the login field. You simply type in your master password into the password manager and it’ll automatically fill in your login information into the website. Also by using a password manager app, you get almost the same feature except that it gives you access to your device apps instead of a browser login. Moreover, the good part is, several of these password managers have encrypted sync across various devices. This can enable you to have access to the same information in all of your devices even on your phone.
Password manager pros
There’re so many benefits of using a password manager. Apart from helping you create and keeping a strong password, a password manager can:
- Create a long, random and complex password which can be hard to guess and save you from a brute force attack.
- Store and manage all your password accounts in its vault.
- When attached as a browser extension, it auto-fill in your passwords on the accounts you use.
- Stores even more for you such as details of your credit cards, notes, membership cards, etc.
- Works across multiple devices and can be sync to have the same information available in all your devices
Password manager cons
To every good thing, there’s still a downside. Although, I would advise to always go with a password manager in spite of these drawbacks. And some of the cons of a password manager are:
- Not all browsers are supported, forcing you to dwell on a selected few.
- Most password managers work only with web-based browsers. Without support for your computer, devices, or corporate network logins.
- Access to all your account is controlled by the master password and if lost. You could lose your access to all your accounts.
- It can crash unexpectedly, while not having an encrypted backup can spell doom.
- A password manager is your last defense line and if compromised by hackers or malware. You risk the exposure of all of your other accounts
Some of the best password managers to try
LastPast is a fine password manager to use. It has both a free and premium features which would suit your need. The password manager allows you to import all of your saved login credentials across various online services; Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc. It also enables two-factor authentication, multiple identities, free credit monitoring among other features. LastPast is supported on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome.
A widely use password manager which support Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. 1Password is much secured, simple and also act as an authentication app. It has a unique feature that integrates Troy Hunt’s Pwned Password database. This will enable you to tell if your password has been leaked in any data breach.
This is a simple but yet intuitive password manager. It also supports two-factor authentication and has the ability to change a multitude of passwords spanning multiple sites with just a few clicks. Dashlane can also store secret notes and share encrypted passwords with emergency contacts when there’s a need.
Password boss only supports Windows, Android, and iOS but doesn’t support Mac or Linux. You can choose a preferred server location in the world to store your information. Reasons being for speed or to avoid certain government jurisdiction or privacy law. Password boss can also import data from LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane.
Why you should use one
A password manager will save you the time trying to memorize and remember a strong unhuman word. Overall, I’m in supportive of using one even with some known setbacks; it’s still a wise choice. You’re advised to pick one from the listed and try it out. Although, the fact still remains; nobody likes password and this has caused scientists various attempt to try and replace it with newer technology such as fingerprints and face/iris scanner. But neither of these is better off and we still resort back to the old-school but trusted passwords authentication. In all, using a password manager will help simplify the process for you every time.
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