Password Managers — the solution to keeping your info safe

So, you’re signing up to a new service and get to the password section. After a few minutes, you type in the strongest password you can think of. And sure enough, most people may choose a password that’s either the same or a slight variation of the one “standard” password.

Alternatively, one might create a strong password, then forget it and must go through a hundred security hoops to regain access to an account. There is another way. A password manager is a great way to take some of the hassles out of signing up and signing in.

Password managers are tools that help create and store login information in a secure environment.

Why Use a Password Manager?

Many websites now require you to sign up to use certain services and many of us have multiple accounts. It becomes increasingly difficult to remember all the passwords for all those sites.

Password managers offer a convenient way to get around this problem. They do this by storing all your login credentials securely in an encrypted environment. All you need is to remember your Master Password to access your information. So, the first time you log in to Instagram, your password manager will suggest a strong randomized password that you can use, then store it. The next time you log in to Instagram, it will just fill in the information for you.

I know, many persons would ask “Why would you store all your eggs in one basket?” Well, those baskets are quite secure. Sure, no piece of software is 100% hack-proof. However, password managers make it extremely difficult for even an experienced person to get hold of your information. And, the alternatives to password managers are way less secure.

Password managers make it extremely difficult for even an experienced person to get hold of your information.

Hackers have various methods of stealing information. It takes only a few seconds for hackers to run an attack that guesses simple passwords like “password1”, “qwerty” or “Michelle1985”, as they are the most obvious choices for many. And once they have cracked that poor excuse for a password, they might try it on say, your Amazon account, or worse, your banking app. Also, writing your passwords on Post-it notes and sticking them on your computer screen for the world to see is as secure as a bird’s nest.

iPhone and Samsung users can use iCloud Keychain or Samsung Pass respectively to store login information in an encrypted environment.

Options

There are many password managers out there that promise the best experience. Here are two popular options that we also recommend.

  • LastPass
    • Stores passwords, notes, addresses, banking information and more.
    • Available for mobile devices and computers.
    • Has free option with basic features like password creation and storage. Premium includes password sharing, multifactor authentication and priority support.
    • Premium costs $36 USD annually for 1 user or $48 annually for a family of 6. **
  • 1Password
    • Uses three levels of encryption
    • Available on all types of devices
    • Checks for weak or duplicated passwords
    • No free option

** Cost as at the time of writing.

— Written by Renor C.