Password Managers: How Safe Are They?
Most people already know the most common best practices for internet security, such as using a VPN, utilizing two-factor authentication, and having different passwords for everything.
But here’s the issue. The average internet user has around 100 passwords that they need to remember. Even the best of us can struggle to remember that many. Especially with many of them having different requirements—at least 10 letters, one uppercase letter, two uppercase letters, one special character, no special characters…the list goes on.
Hence, the password manager. A place where all your passwords are stored in one place under one, master password.
So, is a password manager safe?
Let’s take a look at its impact on your internet security and the benefits of password managers like LastPass, Keeper, or NordPass.
How do Password Managers Work?
Password managers work by using encryption methods to store all your passwords in one place. You simply log into the password manager by using a master password. You can download the password manager app to your phone or have a desktop plugin and anytime you log in to a new site you’ll be asked if you want to store your login credentials to your password manager.
Then, each time you log into the site, your password manager will populate the details.
Are There Any Risks of Using a Password Manager?
Of course, like with anything, there are some risks when it comes to using a password manager. In the unlikely event they do get hacked, then all your sensitive information is in one place.
If you use the free version of the software, there might be a lack of features. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your account is at a higher risk, but paid versions have additional security benefits, such as biometric logins that can be more difficult to penetrate.
Additionally, paid password managers have features like dark-web scanning, to see if your password has been shared on the dark web.
Finally, if you lose access to your master password, and you don’t know your passwords to your accounts, you might face being locked out. It’s always good practice to keep a reminder somewhere private.
Benefits of Using a Password Manager
Password managers are a much safer way to secure your data. You can have a variety of different logins that are all maximum strength without having to remember hundreds of passwords. You just need one.
They also allow easy logins as the data populates for you automatically.
Some password managers go beyond login credentials too and can save other secure information like credit card details. This is perfect if you want to purchase something online and you don’t have your card on you.
Password managers are also great if you’re working remotely for clients or vice versa as you can share a password without actually telling them what it is.
Password managers use AES 256-bit encryption technology, meaning it’s nearly impossible to hack into them.
Conclusion: Should You Use a Password Manager?
In short, yes.
Password managers are one of the safest and most secure ways to store all your passwords without having to memorize hundreds of variations.
Many password managers also come with the option to change your passwords in one click, which can be especially useful if one of your accounts gets compromised and your other passwords are similar.
They also make doing business far easier, especially for remote workers who might be working on several company accounts.
Sites like NordPass and LastPass have great free options if you want to try them out before investing in a premium version.