What is Password Manager Software
In the early years of the Internet, you may have had a handful of passwords for a few essential web applications that we used to shop, study, stay connected, and get work done. Today, things are much more complicated. Everything requires implementing passwords, different passwords. And it is really becoming hard to keep track or memorise them.
How do they work and what are the benefits of using them
You don’t need to memorize all your passwords anymore. You just have to remember the master password that unlocks your other passwords.
They can auto-generate highly secure passwords for you. Password managers will typically ask you if you’d like to use an auto-generated password when you create a new account. These random passwords are long, alphanumeric, and very hard to guess.
They can alert you to a phishing site. Here’s a quick brief on phishing scams. Spam emails are spoofed or faked to look like they’re coming from a legitimate sender. Links contained within the email redirect to similarly spoofed malicious websites designed to collect login credentials. If you’re using a browser-based password manager, it will not auto-complete the username and password fields due to not recognizing the website as the one tied to the password.
They can help your beneficiaries to inherit them when you pass away. This is called a digital inheritance. In the event of your death, whomever you designate to administer your estate will gain access to your password vault.
They will save time. Beyond just storing passwords, many password managers also auto-fill credentials for faster access to online accounts.
Many password managers sync across different operating systems. If you’re a Windows user at work and a Mac user at home, jump on your Android Monday through Friday and turn to iOS on the weekends, you’ll be able to quickly access your passwords regardless of which platform you’re on.
They will protect your identity. In a roundabout way, password managers help protect against identity theft, and here’s why. By using a unique password for every site, you’re essentially separating your data across each website. If a cybercriminal hacks one of your accounts, they won’t necessarily be able to get into any of the others. It’s not foolproof, but it’s an additional layer of security that certainly will help you.
Are password managers safe?
Password managers have been hacked, but their overall track record when it comes to securing user data is quite well.
Password manager LastPass suffered a data breach in 2015. During the breach, cybercriminals made off with user emails but did not manage to steal any passwords. Even if they did, most password managers, including LastPass, use hardcore military-grade encryption to keep passwords safe.
The most recommended password managers
Dashlane is the best for extra security features because it has dark web scanning for data leaks, a secure VPN, and a password changer option.
French-based company Dashlane launched its password manager in 2009 and become a major player in the marketplace. It offers both a robust free plan and paid plans with additional security support for its customers.
Dashlane’s free plan is limited to 50 passwords and one device and offers the standard form and payment autofill, two-factor authentication, and the ability to share up to five accounts. Dashlane offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS as well as access to Linux-based platforms and Chromebooks via browser extensions.
A personal Premium Dashlane account costs $59.99 for one year and offers unlimited passwords, unlimited devices, dark web monitoring that scans the web and alerts customers of leaked personal data, and a built-in VPN, giving this product the edge over other password managers when it comes to extra features.
Customers can also choose a Premium Family to account for $89.99 per year which includes all of the features of the personal Premium account for five people with private accounts for each member and the ability to share an unlimited number of logins.
Bitwarden (founded in 2015) was originally launched as a password manager. It is the only open-source password manager that we know which offers an impressive range of features in its free plan, giving it the edge over comparable password programs.
Bitwarden’s free plan includes:
- Syncing across devices
- Secure note
- Credit card storage
- Two-factor authentication
- The option to store passwords offline.
Bitwarden’s Premium plan costs 10 euros for one year and includes 1GB of encrypted file storage, additional authentication options, a password generator, and advanced technical support. Upgrading to the Family Sharing plan costs 40 euros and adds up to six users with unlimited collections with an extra 1GB of personal storage.
As an open-source platform, Bitwarden’s code is freely available for anyone to inspect, test, and fix, making it potentially more resilient and transparent than many other password managers. Bitwarden also regularly uses different third parties to audit its platform.
Bitwarden is available as an app for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux, and also it offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, Safari, etc.
LastPass was created in 2008. By the time it was bought by SaaS company LogMeIn (2015) it had grown to seven million users with just 30 employees.
LastPass is a browser-based password manager which has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge. It uses the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption and also offers multi-factor authentication (MFA) which allows users to access their account using a smartphone or fingerprint.
LastPass’s free plan offers unlimited passwords, multiple device syncing, one-to-one encrypted password and information sharing, and a digital wallet that stores and automatically fills in credit card information. All of this makes it a robust option and our choice as the best overall password manager.
Users can choose a Personal plan for $3 per month, which includes password sharing on multiple devices and 1GB of encrypted file storage, or a Family plan for $4 per month which adds six additional sharing licenses. Both offer a 30-day free trial.
KeePass Password Safe is a free, open-source, and easy-to-use password manager for Windows, Linux and Mac OS. With so many passwords to remember and the need to vary passwords to protect your valuable data, it’s nice to have KeePass to manage your passwords in a secure way. KeePass stores all your passwords in a highly encrypted database and locks them with one master key. You only have to remember one single master password to unlock the whole database. Hence, the databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).
If you want to survive in this digital world with high privacy, you need to consider using the password manager. If you want to choose a specific password manager based on your professional and personal work culture needs, we can assist you.