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Password Security 101: Password Managers

Tips
by Oli King - 25/08/2021

When it comes to passwords for your various online accounts, chances are you have more passwords than you’ve had hot dinners, and possibly stored anywhere and everywhere, scribbled on the odd post-it-note here, a spreadsheet there, lists of where the lists of passwords are kept. But what if there was something or somewhere, where you could keep all your passwords in one place, and better yet, generate secure passwords for you? Well, there is, and it’s called a password manager.

But what is a password manager? A password manager is an application which ‘remembers’ each of your passwords and automatically attributes them to the right website, account or application. Meaning you no longer need to remember which password you’ve used for the dozens of websites and applications you use, just the one master password you have for your password manager. With a password manager, you can sit back and never have to worry about remembering endless super secure passwords, or trawling through various spreadsheets, emails or post-it-notes trying to find the correct password to use.

But I have passwords stored in my web browser already, why bother with a password manager? To be honest, having your details stored in the autofill/form section of a web browser, while handy, is not very secure at all, and are pretty easy to steal, there is even free software available to download online, which does exactly that – steal your login data from your web browser.

Not only do password managers save you having to remember, or keep a list of all your passwords, but using one of the best password managers may be the single best way to boost your online security.

There are a number of password managers available online, and the majority will offer free and paid versions, but the best password managers will quickly and automatically generate and store strong passwords for you, and the majority will have plug-in’s available that can be installed on your web browser, and will either fill in (checkout our blog on the vulnerability of autofill) or give you the option of entering your login details automatically, while some will go one step further and enter bank card and address details.

For added security, your passwords and other sensitive data will be encrypted on your pc/device and the servers of the password manager itself. As another layer of protection, the best password managers will offer two-factor authentication, making it even harder for unsavoury characters to hack into your accounts.

When it comes to the best password manager to use, in our opinion, LastPass or Bitwarden are the best password managers around at the moment. LastPass has a great range of security features, including ‘Dark web monitoring’ (websites, forums etc. where username and passwords, among other things, are sold online) where LastPass will monitor your account details, and send you an alert should they appear on the dark web. But some of these features are only available with a premium, paid plan. Bitwarden also has some great security features that come as standard with its free tier, that are not to be sniffed at for anyone that doesn’t want to sign up and pay for a password manager right off the bat.

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