A Beginner’s Guide to using Password Managers

password managers

With the increasing rate of online hacking, you need strong unique passwords for each of your online accounts. If you are still using your date of birth, you are in real trouble because these passwords are easy to manipulate. This is where the use of password managers is vital, as they help you create strong passwords.

A password manager is an encrypted vault for storing passwords that is itself protected by a master password. It lives in the browser and acts as though an online gate keeper. You just master one password for the password manager itself and everything is catered for.

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One of the most important features of most password managers is the ability to automatically fill in passwords to stored sites and it’s also a good way to avoid having passwords stolen by keylogging malware. Examples of password managers include; 1Password, Dashlane and Last Pass among others for Android. macOS and iOS devices come with a built-in password manager iCloud Keychain.

Once you have installed the password manager of your choice, you need to find your saved passwords and transfer them to the password manager.

Related Article: And Idiot’s Guide to Strong Passwords

How Safe Are Password Managers?

Most password managers utilize AES-256, which is generally considered one of the strongest forms of encryption available. The odds of a hacker attacking your device and stealing data from your password management app is slim, and it’s even slimmer that they’ll be able to decrypt that data from the password manager.

However, nothing is perfect as regards to technology. A password manager is just the best option of saving password. Take storing your passwords in a web browser. Most web browsers will ask if you want to remember a password, but that data is stored in a completely unsecured way. In Chrome you can see every stored password, username, and website combination by Opening Preferences, Advanced, and looking for the Manage Passwords option under Passwords And Forms. Anyone who gains access to your computer would theoretically have access to all that information if they knew to look there.

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How different are password managers?

The biggest difference is that password managers store your passwords over the cloud. This is beneficial as it allows the passwords to sync seamlessly between devices. Cloud storage eliminates the worry that you will lose your stored passwords if your computer crashes. However, incase of cloud security breach, your machine will be exposed to hackers.

Most password managers that utilize the cloud can have their sync functions disabled if you would prefer to not take the risk of cloud storage.

Related Article: What is One Time Password (OTP)?

If you have a favorite password, you’re doing it wrong. Using the same password for multiple websites is a big mistake. Suppose hackers compromise one of the sites; now they have your password for the others. And using something you can remember easily makes it easier for them to guess. Using a unique, strong password for every site is essential, and the only way to do it is to enlist the help of a password manager.

Image: Android Central


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