To use or not to use Password Manager Tools
Bhubaneswar: Almost everyone can relate how difficult it is to remember passwords. With sites asking for a combination of small and large characters, numbers and special characters, the password becomes a tough one to remember. And with growing security concern, having a unique password for each online account just gets the going tougher. Password Manager tools/apps become the virtual knight in shining armour in these tough situations.
What Is A Password Manager
Imagine a password manager to be your special locker where you keep all your passwords with a master key (that only you own).
Password managers store your login information for all the websites you use and help you log into them automatically. They encrypt your password database with a master password – the master password or key is the only one you have to remember.
Why Do You Need To Use One
Now the first thought that crosses your mind is- What if I forget my master password? Or worse it’s stolen.
To answer the first question, human minds are infinite and we can definitely remember one password. If not then you can maybe write it down somewhere safe. But please never online. Here’s what you can do:
- Print a copy or store it on a USB flash drive. Don’t store it online or email it.
- Fill in your Master Password. In an emergency, you or your loved one will be glad to have all your account details in one place.
- Keep it somewhere safe, like with your passport or birth certificate.
- Give a copy to a trusted loved one, like your spouse or someone in your will.
Coming to the second question, there is a high risk that the master password might get stolen. Password managers, however, were built for this specific purpose and include a suite of tools and top-notch encryption which help protect your data.
Now there have been multiple instances of top Password Managers getting hacked. Those problems may seem like a deal-breaker, but let me tell you why they’re not. The reality is that in your attempts to handle all those passwords yourself, you will commit the cardinal sin of reusing some. That is actually far more risky than using a password manager. If a single site that uses this password falls, every account that uses it is compromised. You’ll need to remember all the sites where you reused that password and then change them all.
Why Browser-Based Password Managers Must Be Avoided
Web browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and others – all have integrated password managers. For one thing, Chrome and Internet Explorer store your passwords on your computer in an unencrypted form. People could access the password files on your computer and view them unless you encrypt your computer’s hard drive.
A dedicated password manager will store your passwords in an encrypted form, help you generate secure random passwords, offer a more powerful interface, and allow you to easily access your passwords across all the different computers, smartphones, and tablets you use.
Which Password Manager To Use
We will discuss three Password Managers here based on public reviews. You are free to use any one of them based on your usage and ease.
- 1Password: With 1Password, you control your data. The tool/app has no ability to acquire your secrets. That not only protects you from the tool/app handler, but it also protects you from anyone who compromises the software. 1Password is widely used and integrates with Troy Hunt’s Pwned Passwords database, so you can tell if (and avoid!) a password that has been previously leaked or exposed in a data breach.
- Dashlane: This is a cross-platform Password Manager and it comes with great features and slick apps for almost every platform — Windows, OS X, iPhone, iPad, and Android. They have extensions for every browser, features like a security dashboard that analyzes your passwords, and they even have an automatic password changer that can change your passwords for you without having to deal with it yourself.
- LastPass: This is a cloud-based password manager and is recommended for the ‘hard-core’ users. It is a popular desktop application for managing your passwords, but there are also browser extensions and mobile apps for KeePass. KeePass stores your passwords on your computer so you remain in control of them — it’s even open-source, so you could audit its code if you wanted to. The downside is that you’re responsible for your passwords, and you’ll have to sync them between your devices manually.