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  • Writer's pictureDave Taylor

The Importance of a Password Manager

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Introduction

In today's digital world, we have so many different accounts to keep track of, it's impossible to remember all your passwords. We often get around this by having the same password for multiple accounts but this is a major security risk. With this in mind, it's more important than ever to have a strong password manager.


A password manager is a software application that helps you generate and store strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts. This makes it much harder for hackers to gain access to your accounts, even if they do manage to steal your password for one of them.


In addition storing passwords, most password managers also offer a variety of other features, such as:


Password strength checking Password managers can check the strength of your passwords and recommend changes if they're not strong enough.


Password sharing Some password managers allow you to share passwords with other people, such as family members or co-workers.


Two-factor authentication Many password managers support two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security to your accounts.


Generating Secure Passwords When you sign up for a new site or want to change your password on an existing site then Password Managers all offer a way to generate a long, secure and random password. This saves you having to try to think of something to use.


How to Use a Password Manager

Using a password manager is simple. Once you've chosen a password manager, you'll need to create an account and download the software. Most solutions allow you to download web browser extensions and mobile phone and tablet apps so you can synchronise your passwords across multiple devices. Once you've done that, you can start adding your passwords to the manager.


To add a password, simply enter the website or app name, the username, and the password. The password manager will then encrypt the password and store it in its database.


When you need to log in to a website or app, you can simply open the password manager and select the entry for that website or app. The password manager will then autofill the username and password fields for you.


A Word of Warning

Obviously your Password Manager will be storing all of your passwords in an online database. This is convenient as it allows you to share passwords across multiple devices, but if your Password Manager is hacked then any hacker will have access to all your passwords. It is crucial that your Password Manager is secured with a very strong, unique password which you can remember. Also secure the account with some form of two-factor authentication. If the company providing your Password Manager gets compromised they should inform you as soon as possible on what actions to take. Fortunately with the built in password generators it can be easy to start changing passwords to something more secure if you need to. You can also export your passwords to use offline or to import into another Password Manager if you want to change services.


Popular Password Managers

There are a number of different password managers available, but five of the most popular are:


Bitwarden Bitwarden is a free and open-source password manager that offers a wide range of features. It's a good choice for users who are looking for a secure and affordable password manager.

Pros:

Free and open-source Wide range of features Secure

Cons:

Not as user-friendly as some other password managers Limited two-factor authentication options on the free account.


Dashlane Dashlane is a paid password manager that offers a number of advanced features, such as password sharing and two-factor authentication. It's a good choice for users who need a more secure password manager. Pros:

Wide range of features Secure User-friendly Two-factor authentication

Cons:

Expensive No free plan


1Password 1Password is another paid password manager that offers a number of advanced features. It's a good choice for users who want a user-friendly password manager with a lot of features.

Pros:

Wide range of features Secure User-friendly Two-factor authentication

Cons:

Expensive No free plan


Keeper Keeper is a paid password manager that offers a number of advanced features, such as password sharing and two-factor authentication. It's a good choice for users who need a secure password manager with a lot of features.

Pros:

Wide range of features Secure User-friendly Two-factor authentication

Cons:

Expensive No free plan


NordPass NordPass is a paid password manager that offers a number of advanced features, such as password sharing and two-factor authentication. It's a good choice for users who need a secure password manager with a lot of features.

Pros:

Wide range of features Secure User-friendly Two-factor authentication

Cons:

Expensive No free plan


Conclusion

A password manager is a valuable tool that can help you protect your online accounts. If you're not using a password manager, I highly recommend that you start using one today.

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