Fool Proof Password Management
Password manager applications are extremely underused but they can actually be the most useful tool that you could possibly own. As recent research has shown, the typical internet user has up to 25 online accounts, meaning the number of passwords users are needing to remember is ever continuing to increase.
The official definition of a password manager as defined by techopedia.com is “an application that is used to store and manager the password a user has for various online accounts in an encrypted format”. In other words, it is a protected vault which stores all of your passwords in a format that cannot be read and accessed only by those who know the master password. Although encryption does not mean 100% secure, security experts have stated that the benefits of using an encrypted password manager outweigh the risks of not using one.
Why Do I Need A Password Manager?
With data breach events from the likes of Yahoo!, Facebook and the more recent Marriott Hotel Chain you could be completely unaware the affect it could’ve had on you. If you use a handful of the same ‘strong’ passwords for every online banking login, shopping and social media sites then you are opening yourself up to a bigger considerable risk. If even a single one gets hacked, they all then can.
It goes without saying really but the harder passwords are for hackers to guess, chances are they are also going to be harder to remember, especially if you have to remember 25 completely unique ones. Password managers are simple to use and easy to implement and you will only ever have to remember a single strong and unique password to gain access to the password manager itself and reveal all of your other strong and unique passwords that are just impossible to remember.
Password managers make your data less vulnerable online and are often locked up using a two-step authentication process like many banking applications. They are extremely useful when you have many online accounts but also when you have many accounts which require multiple passwords or memorable information. But remember, as with all accounts, a weak master password will leave all of your other passwords extremely vulnerable; that’s where the beauty of a password manager can step in.
Most password managers can also offer guidance on creating reliable, strong passwords but don’t be fooled by paid services seeming to offer something extra, but paid services does not always mean better security.
- Given the #1 spot by thewirecutter.com
- Any browser
- Any device
- Premium version available for £18pcm
- Any browser
- Only for use on smartphones
- All data is stored on the phone
- Free password strength reports
- Free & Paid versions
- Syncs across all major OS
- Managed via online hub
- Supports two-factor authentication
- Can import from other password managers
- Free & Paid versions
- 1-click login
- Cross platform availability
- Unlimited password storage
- Most experienced – Est 1999
You should consider a password manager as a crucial tool in your security kit
If you are concerned that your data may have possibly been breached then head to; www.haveibeenpwnd.com, the site was created by security expert Troy Hunt (Microsoft Regional Director and MVP of Developer Security). The site collects and analyses database dumps containing information about leaked accounts and passwords, users can also search the database and discover if their email or password has been included in the data breach.
What is A Good Password?
Good passwords are 100% unique, do not contain dictionary words or names and should always contain the following 3 characteristics;
- 12 or more letters
- contain non-sequential numbers
- contain a mixture of upper and lowercase letters
Despite the importance placed upon choosing a strong and unique password it is highly surprising how many individuals fail to do so. As found by Keeper Security, the most used password of 2018 was; 123456 with the ever so original 123456789 coming in at 2nd place (see the Top 10 here).
Always remember that a password (and a password manager) is like toothbrush, choose a good one and do not share it with anyone!