In the previous post about passwords we mentioned that passwords are here to stay for the forseeable future. We also looked at some tips for creating strong passwords. If we really are to follow these tips, we have to use a long and unique password for every website we sign up for. Now just for a moment try to remember all the websites you have signed up for. Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Google, Netflix, Apple, Yahoo are a few that immediately come to mind and there are many more, possibly hundreds because every website nowadays wants you to create an account. Imagine having to remember a unique random password for each one of the websites you sign up for. It’s a nightmare!
Then what is the solution you may ask!
What if I told you that you only have to remember a single complex password and a software will securely store all of your other passwords for you. That sounds amazing, doesn’t it? That’s what a password manager is in a nutshell.
Password manager is a software that lets you store, generate and manage passwords for all your online services
All you need to do is sign up (ironic, yet another service asking you to sign up!!! But trust me this one is for the better) to use a password manager and set a master password for your account. Once you set a master password you can store all your other passwords into it. You can also generate long, random passwords and use them for future registrations.
Think of password managers as a safe where your valuables are stored. The valuables in this case are your login details for all the websites that you have signed up for. And the master key to the safe is the master password. This solves our problem of having to remember all the long and complex passwords for hundreds of sites!
Password managers also work across devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones) so that you can access your passwords anywhere!
So how do you choose a password manager? If we are giving all of our passwords to a piece of software, we need to make sure that it is keeping it safe. In this case we’ll rely on the industry standards and experts to answer that for us!
These are some of the password managers that are being widely used and experts have attested to their security. There are many more you can find online, each one with different features and customizations. If you are technically savvy, you can also choose to host your own password manager. Bitwarden and 1Password provide you with that option.
There are a few things that we need to keep in mind before starting to use password managers. We need to make sure that the master password is sufficiently long and random. Otherwise you run into the risk of someone guessing your master password. Going back to our analogy of the safe, imagine what would happen if someone gets the master key to your safe!
Another thing to remember is that if you forget your master password, the recovery is extremely painful and you risk locking yourself out of all your accounts. So it is best to remember at least a couple of more passwords to your important email accounts.
But overall the benefits definitely outweigh the risks and you should strongly consider using a password manager. If nothing else, you will at least save yourself the trouble of remembering hundreds of random passwords!
That’s all for this time folks! I hope this post was helpful and you learned a thing or two about password managers. Please share this post with friends and family to help spread awareness about Security! Please also provide feedback via social media or the email below about the content and what else you would like to see on this blog. Thank you for reading, see you all in December.