Updated: Oct 30
Forgot your password again? Don't worry, we got your back. That's what password managers do, they save your passwords for you so that you don't have to remember them.
They save time and are super convenient too. Sounds great, doesn't it? So let's review some common questions and concerns associated with password managers.
Where are my passwords saved?
How does it work?
Who needs it?
Are password managers safe to use?
We'll answer these and more questions - oversimplified.
What is a password manager? Are my passwords safe?
Most password managers use AES 256-bit encryption.
Sounds secure, right? It is.
It's so secure that even the US Military uses this, and it would take several decades to crack.
You can read more about it HERE.
Moreover, password managers also provide multi-factor authentication; some even have facial and fingerprint recognition enabled, which adds an additional layer of security.
You thought that's it? Nope, we have more.
Top password managers utilize a zero-knowledge architecture.
What's that, you ask?
Without getting too far into the details, they encrypt passwords before they even leave your device.
Encryption is a mathematical equation technique to make passwords incomprehensible. So when they're on a server, even the service provider has no way to decipher them.
Do You NEED it?
Well, the answer varies from person to person. You should have different passwords for every site you visit. Moreover, you should follow all these tips for password complexity:
At least 12 characters - the more characters, the better
A mixture of letters and numbers.
A mixture of both uppercase and lowercase letters.
At least one unique character like !,@,#,?, etc.
Memorizing passwords that adhere to the above guidelines would be a mammoth task.
Most password managers need you to only remember the Master password to access all your other credentials.
And because about 60% of data breach victims in 2020 were using the same password on multiple sites (READ MORE), using a password manager seems ideal.
Are there different types?
Yes, there are many types of password managers and we'll be discussing three.
Some offer additional functionality. Here we'll describe the pros and cons of each so that you can make the right choice based on your needs.
As the name suggests, these are in-built into browsers such as Firefox and Chrome.
They are convenient to use because you don't need additional setup or even to pay a subscription fee.
Despite this advantage, there are drawbacks. One is that it's browser dependent and difficult to transfer passwords from one browser to another.
Moreover, they generally cannot measure the strength of your passwords and typically lack a feature to generate passwords.
Cloud-based password managers typically offer native clients for multiple operating systems and are typically browser-agnostic, meaning they will work with any browser.
Since they are cloud-based, they have enhanced security features.
They can store passwords and other sensitive information, such as your credit card details. They can also be used to test and detect weak passwords and include secure password generation functionality.
If a server crashes, they also have cloud-based backups so that you can recover your credentials and details.
Both browser-based and cloud-based password management solutions require a third party, meaning you have no control over the security of their systems, and they also have all your data stored in their systems. What if you'd like more control?
This is one of the safest options for storing your passwords.
Because they store all your data locally on your device, it's not dependent on the internet, making it nearly impossible to hack.
Notice how we said nearly. So what are the conditions where it may be hacked?
We have keyloggers that could do the trick. Read more about it HERE.
And in another scenario, if your device breaks down and you don't have a backup, you'll lose all the passwords that have been saved.
So there you have it, a comprehensive breakdown of password managers.
Most cyber-security specialists agree that it's a secure way to protect your passwords.
With internet security concerns at an all-time high, we all must follow the most effective methods to safeguard ourselves online.
And with technological advancements making hacking more common, you might want to add this to your shopping list for Halloween.
We'll see you around with more cybersecurity tips to make the internet safer for everyone!