Privacy and cybersecurity have been a hot topic for a while now, especially after many ransomware attacks and other exploits that have devastated the cybersecurity community. People are becoming more mindful about their online presence and which data they wish to share with the world.
Online security should become your top priority because, otherwise, you might fall victim to one of these ruthless exploits. One of the tools that can help with protecting your online presence is a password manager. Let’s learn more about them.
What Is a Password Manager?
Password managers are like your personal safe for storing all passwords, and you’re the only one who holds the key to that safe. However, password managers do much more than just storing your passwords. Most of them offer an option to generate strong passwords, so you can also use them as a personal strong password generator.
All passwords stored within your password manager solution are encrypted, and you’re the only one who has the encryption key. So, even if a password manager company was to be hacked, hackers wouldn’t be able to get ahold of your data because they don’t have the encryption key.
However, the key here is to use a strong password for your password manager. Even if everything is encrypted, if you use a weak encryption key, hackers might be able to use software to crack your password. If you do have a strong password, then it would take them decades to crack it, even with the most advanced software. On the other hand, if you were to use a weak password, they would be able to hack it in a matter of minutes.
How Do Password Managers Work?
Storing passwords via password managers is simple. You install a password manager, allow certain permissions, and anytime you enter a new password, it will be encrypted and stored within the password manager. In terms of generating passwords and how it does that, it is slightly more complex.
Password managers have special algorithms that work tirelessly on creating safe and hard-to-crack password combinations for their users. When you want to create a new password using a password manager, you’ll be able to select certain criteria such as:
- Password length – ideally over 12 characters
- Character types to be included – symbols, letters, numbers
- Letter style – uppercase, lowercase, a mix of uppercase and lowercase characters
So, most generated passwords will look like this – pcD3mE4ka2Okwq[8@bGQ – the weirder and longer your password is, the better. We always recommend mixing a bit of everything – a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, along with some symbols and numbers.
There are both free and paid password manager tools on the market. For example, if you use Chrome as your main browser, you can get a Chrome password manager. It stores all your passwords automatically, and you’re prompted with a password generator every time you place the pointer in a password field.
How Secure Are Password Managers?
The whole purpose of password managers is to be secure. However, not all companies use the same encryption protocols, nor do all of them employ the same level of security. If you’re thinking about using a password manager, make sure to use the ones that are well-known for its security properties. We’ll discuss how you should choose a password manager further in the article, so stay tuned.
Why You Should Use a Password Manager
Password managers are probably the best way to store your passwords if you want to ensure that no one else has access to them. For example, if you were to face a malware attack, the hackers probably wouldn’t be able to steal any of your passwords, thanks to password managers.
Another thing password managers protect you from is keyloggers. Keyloggers are a type of spyware that tracks all keystrokes made on the target’s device. Keyloggers are becoming increasingly popular and widespread, so protecting yourself is always smart. By using password managers, you’re eliminating the need for typing passwords because the tool enters the passwords for you. Hence, you won’t type anything, and keyloggers won’t be able to catch any of your passwords or other login data.
Which Password Manager Should You Use?
The market is flooded with different versions of password managers, some of which are better than others. When it comes to choosing a suitable service provider, here’s what you should look for:
- Strong, military-grade encryption
- Does it offer an integrated password generator
- Does the company store the encryption keys anywhere
- Online reviews