Password Managers: Are they Secure and How to Use ThemPosted: December 30, 2015
The majority of people use very weak passwords and reuse the same password for all different websites and accounts. With so many passwords to keep track of, of course it is human nature to use the same one over and over again for simplicity’s sake. However, this makes our accounts and passwords very vulnerable to hackers.
So, what to do with all those passwords? Write them down on a piece of paper? NO. Save them in a word document on the computer? NO. How about have the internet browser automatically save the passwords for you? NO.
All of these options, which many of us use, are not secure, reliable or safe in any way.
You can lose the piece of paper. A family member, friend, neighbour, or even the person who came into your house to fix the broken window could find and use your passwords from the paper you keep.
Your computer could crash and the saved document lost forever – unrecoverable. A hacker could gain access to your computer and find the document with all your passwords.
The browser that auto saved the passwords is also vulnerable to hacks if your computer is compromised. Also, there can be some auto-fill issues where the browser remembers an older password but not the new one.
So, now what?
How do you keep all those passwords in order and in one spot? Our brains are great but can’t remember everything.
This is where a Password Manager can come in handy.
There are a variety of Password Managers that you could use, and we will provide some examples in a later blog post. Regardless of the one you choose to use they all work basically the same. They securely store your login information for all the websites you use and help you log into them automatically. They encrypt your password database with a master password – the master password is the only one that must be memorized! We have just gone from trying to remember 10-20-30 or more passwords to only 1!!! And let’s not even mention trying to remember all the usernames or login ID’s that go with each account. These are also remembered for you by the Password Manager.
Now, you might be asking how different is a password manager from my own method of saving my passwords and how much more secure can they be?
Well, much safer than conventional methods but nothing is 100% as hackers are always finding new ways of intrusion. There was a hack on one password manager program earlier this year. The hack actually proved the general trustworthiness of password managers, since despite the hack no passwords were compromised. The passwords are quite safe as they are buried under many, many layers of encryption.
Many password managers can flag weak and/or duplicate passwords, and some offer help with the update process. The very best ones can automate the password-change process for you.
With using a dedicated password manager you can store all your passwords in an encrypted form and some can allow you to access your passwords across your different devices (computers, smartphones, and tablets).
So, now the question remains, why aren’t you using one?!
Please see our next blog entry on the different available password managers.