The experts are always advising that you should have tough-to-guess passwords for your online accounts. This can be difficult since you probably have more than a few online accounts to remember the passwords for. Also, using one good password for various accounts is not a good idea either.
To have secure passwords for all your accounts, you may turn to password managers. It sounds like a reasonable solution since not only do they allow you to save as many passwords as possible, they also help you create them as well. But, what should you know before using a password manager?
The Dark Side of Password Managers
Password managers can save you a lot of time. This is especially true with the autofill feature that will fill out those forms for you instantly. This feature has an issue in browser-based password managers since third-party scripts have been found to try and get “their hands” on that information. But, if you use a password manager that takes your security seriously, this feature shouldn’t be a problem.
There have also been attacks that mimic various sites to try and get your information from the password managers. No matter how much time passes, password managers will always be one of the primary targets for attacks due to their valuable data.
For example, if Instagram were to be hacked and you had your information stolen, only your Instagram info would be in danger. With password managers, you could lose your information for various accounts at once.
If you have a hard time remembering even one password, there is one huge danger: by forgetting the master password, you could get locked out of all your accounts since you will need to remember one master password. If you were to forget the master password, you would need to reset your password for each and every one of your online accounts.
What to Look for When Using a Password Manager
If you’re determined to use a password manager, go with a standalone password manager. The standalone versions have more advanced features such as multi-factor authentication, warn you of reused or weak passwords, and also tell you when it’s time to change a password.
Make sure that the password manager you’re going to use can fill in your information automatically. To enjoy the autofill feature, the password manager should offer browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. This is a useful feature since it doesn’t expose you to keylogging malware.
One password manager can vary from another dependent on where they store your passwords. If it saves your passwords in the cloud, you’ll have your passwords on all your devices. Keep in mind that you’ll also run the risk of losing your passwords if there is a cloud storage breach, if it ever happens.
If the passwords are stored locally, you don’t have to worry about a cloud storage breach, but you’ll lose all your passwords if something happens to your computer. Don’t worry if you’re not sure where you want to store your passwords. The majority of password managers offer you the option of saving them either locally or in the cloud. Make sure that the one you use provides both options.
A good password manager will also generate passwords that are at least sixteen characters long. Another useful feature a password manager should have is helping you log into apps and not just sites. A good password manager should also allow you to import your browser passwords for an easy save.
Other Things to Look for in a Password Manager
A trustworthy password manager will never save your master password. Since your master password won’t be stored, it is of vital importance that you never forget it. This feature is called zero-knowledge protocol; make sure the password manager you choose has it.
If you want to choose a password manager with the most robust encryption, make sure it has AES-256 encryption. Look for a password that can support various platforms. For example, see that it supports Windows, Apple, and Android devices.
If the password manager can offer you biometrics, you have a winner. This way, you won’t have to worry about having to remember that master password. You should also be able to change the security settings to your liking. For example, the password manager should have features such as auto-logout, identifying a trustworthy browser, and it should also ask you for your password whenever you need to access sensitive data.
Putting all your passwords in one place can seem scary. But, having all your accounts with weak passwords is even more frightening since they are more likely to get hacked. Follow these tips when looking for a password manager, and you’ll be just fine.
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