Password Manager

Password Manager Basics

For many years, keeping track of passwords was a mind-boggling task for many people. As we sign up on multiple platforms every day, it’s almost a norm to either forget or mix up our username and password. That’s why you need to get the use of a password manager underway. These software applications help you generate and save strong passwords for different websites and accounts.

When you first enter a username and password on an online platform, the managers store them. The next time you visit the site or mobile app, they autofill the login forms with your correct details in your device’s browsers. Also, they sync data from your smartphone and personal computers (PC) to ensure you never lose track of your credentials.

Benefits of Using Password Managers

On the surface, password managers only seem to help store your PIN and other credentials, taking remembering passwords off your to-do list. But they do more than that by helping you generate unique and secure passwords to access apps and websites on your mobile devices. Without them, you probably won't be able to use unique passwords and will end up reusing login details on multiple sites.

With reports of phishing, hacking, and data theft all over the place, using strong passwords is a great way to ensure the security of your data and personal identity.

Additionally, a password manager software acts like a safe lock for your credit card numbers and shipping addresses. You can easily fill the details automatically with your fingerprints, or a password. Some provide cloud storage for sensitive documents in Word or PDF formats.

Types of Password Managers

Even for the impressive features they possess, the majority of the best password managers are free to download. They allow you to save passwords for a single device and may permit syncing information with other devices.

Some managers have an option for a paid subscription that allows users to sync their login credentials across multiple devices. They provide online services such as encrypted cloud storage where you can store files like passport copy, business documents, and personal IDs. Premium software applications allow you to share personal information with trusted friends and family.

Developers continue to work on password managers with advanced features, such as alerting users when a password is potentially compromised and preventing the use of such.

Top Password Managers

Lastpass is one of the most reliable password managers available for Android, iPhone, and iPad. It has a free version that keeps you within the limit of one device but remains the most trusted free password manager. The app’s premium version offers multifactor authentication and the ability to share login details and files with others.

Another option with both free and paid versions is the Dashlane app that provides an easy and secure password management. As with most free password keepers, the app saves logins for just one device, with a limit of 50 passwords. However, you still can enjoy having your credentials readily available when you need them. The paid version offers data syncing across multiple devices.

If you’re looking for open-source software that generates and stores passwords, Bitwarden is your best bet. It works well with a variety of browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and Edge. The app doesn’t automatically fill the user’s login username and password on web forms, except it is set to do so. Instead, it displays an icon that lets the user choose which login details to use.

For a combination of secure passwords and file storage space of up to 10GB, Keeper is your go-to option. Unlike many other managers, it offers unlimited password storage in one device, allowing you to store as many logins as possible securely.

Issues with Password Managers

A significant problem with these password managers is that they’re subject to vulnerabilities. This was confirmed by an Independent Security Evaluation (ISE) report that showed that password managers potentially expose user details when a device is locked. The report claimed top password keepers didn’t provide enough security as advertised by the apps.

This flaw has only been reported in Windows apps but doesn’t rule out the possibility of it happening in a smartphone password generator. However, most managers behave as an authentication app requiring authorization – usually a secret pin – before your password can be decrypted.

One recommended way to prevent the hacking of a password manager is to disable the autofill option. Even when a hack attempt is successful, the person would only gain access to your encrypted data since password managers don’t store the encryption key.

Even with the issues of possible vulnerabilities, password managers still make a great way to not only generate secure passwords but to store and track them. With their ability to automatically fill your logins on web pages and apps, you never have to bother remembering a password. If you need a reliable one for your device, consider checking our list of the Best Apps for Managing Passwords.