We use passwords to access everything from our social media accounts to our email and other important documents. And even though we know that it’s a good idea to have different passwords for each account, the reality is that many of us don’t follow this rule.
So what can a person do? One option is to start using a password manager! Password managers are software programs or apps that store your passwords in an encrypted file on your computer or phone so you only need one password – the one for the app itself – to unlock them all. This article will discuss how they work and why they’re so important!
Why Do We Need Password Managers?
As anyone who understands the importance of digital security can attest:
- Make your passwords strong and unique by combining upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Dont reuse passwords across different websites.
While the human brain is known for its amazing abilities, it is certainly true that memorising hundreds or even thousands of complex passwords may pose a challenge, even for people who have an excellent memory.
That’s where password managers come to save the day. By using a password manager, you can create and store all of your passwords in one place. Password managers come in both desktop and mobile versions, and many of them are free to use.
When you create an account with a password manager, the app will ask you to generate a master password. This is the only password you’ll need to remember, and it will be used to unlock all of the other passwords that are stored in your password manager.
When you visit a website, the password manager will automatically recognize the credentials needed and fill in your username and password for you. This process is called auto-filling, and it’s one of the main reasons why password managers are so helpful. Not only do they make it easier to create strong passwords, they also ensure you never have to worry about remembering them.
When it comes to choosing a password manager app, there are many options available for both desktop and mobile devices. One of the most popular free apps is LastPass, which allows users access across all their devices with one master password.
For more advanced users, there are also a number of paid password manager options available. These managers typically offer more features, such as the ability to share passwords with other people and create multiple user profiles.
One important thing to remember when using a password manager is that if you lose your master password, you will lose access to all of your other passwords. So make sure you make a note of it somewhere safe.
Using password managers is an easy way to boost the security of your digital life, and these apps are becoming more popular with each passing day. If you haven’t started using one yet, now is the time!
Do Password Managers Have a Weakness?
In theory, a password manager improves your digital security. But it’s only as secure as the master password you use. Thousands of users of the popular LastPass password manager are seeing unauthorized log-in attempts. Apparently, information that has been gained through data breaches in the past is now being used in a practice called “credential stuffing” where usernames and passwords obtained from other services are used to log into someone’s account.
Then we come back to the initial point in this article: Don’t use the same password on multiple websites or services.
Therefore, the answer is yes! A weakness in password managers is that if the master password is reused, it is no longer secure. Whenever data is compromised from another service and tied to the email you use, that is an attack vector in itself.
As a rule, if you use a password manager of any kind, the master password should be “unique” and not used for any other services.
How Can You Improve the Security of Your Password Manager?
One of the best things you can do to improve the security of your password manager is to use a strong, unique master password.
The other things you can do, are things like:
– Enabling Two Factor Authentication. 2FA is a very effective layer of protection since it requires an additional step of verification.
– Make sure you don’t store your master password in any cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive, etc… This will make it easier for hackers to get access to everything if one of these accounts happens to be compromised.
– Make use of the Password Generator and Unique Passwords features offered by most modern password managers.
– Some password managers like LastPass offer Security Challenge features that can help you keep an eye on your overall online security by showing how many accounts need to be updated, etc…
– Make use of the Secure Notes feature offered by most modern password managers. This can help you store information about account credentials in a way that is not easily accessible by hackers.
– Last, but not least; use a VPN with your password manager to encrypt all of the traffic that is generated whenever you login into an account or do anything else online. Encryption will make it much more difficult for hackers to intercept and gain access to sensitive information related directly to your online activities.