Are password manager programs safe to use?
With data breaches becoming so prevalent in recent years, you may be looking for some added protection.
While password managers have some flaws, are they really safe to use?
While no one can anyone guarantee that your passwords and information saved through a password manager won’t get leaked, would you skydive without a parachute just because they very very rarely malfunction?
Okay, well yes, some people definitely wouldn’t take the chance, but you get the point.
Password Manager Programs You Can Trust
Password manager programs are essentially safe deposit boxes that are home to all of your online log-in info for websites, apps, and other services. Your log-in info will automatically populate on your screen, tablet, smartphone, etc, with either the use of a master password or fingerprint.
Aside from specific password manager programs, most web browsers have some form of a password manager. If browsers like Firefox or Chrome have asked you if you would like your password saved, you’ve encountered a password manager.
While using these options are certainly better than re-using the same passwords, they don’t offer as many services as a password manager program.
So which are the best password manager programs?
1Password started out as an Apple-centric program, but it has now expanded to include iOS, Android, Windows, and ChromeOS. One of the best features that sets 1Password ahead of the pack is that it also acts as an authentication app. This means the program creates a secret encryption key and no one can steal your password without it.
Dashlane offers a pretty sweet free option that can keep track of 50 passwords on one device. If you need added protection across multiple devices including items like ID-theft monitoring, that’ll run you about $120 a year.
How Much Safety Will You Really Get?
You may be thinking, password managers are all well and good, but can’t the password manager program get hacked too? While it’s not impossible for that to happen, the key is to pick a password manager that’s reliable.
Any pro in the IT security world will tell you that the goal isn’t to be 100% hack-proof. That would be impossible. The goal is to be safer than all of the alternatives. It’s common knowledge that most bullies pick on the easy prey. If you put on a little beef, chances are the bully won’t pick on you.
The same goes for password manager programs. If they put up enough defenses, chances are they won’t get hacked. Hacker’s unfortunately have enough easy prey in the world to be satisfied most of the time. See the not-so-safe alternatives below.
Many programs endure multiple security audits to ensure there are no loopholes in the system.
In comparison to the alternatives, password manager programs are highly recommended.
The Not-So-Safe Alternative
Everyone has forgotten an online password at least once in their life. With the push to do everything online, comes the annoying hassle of having to try to remember multiple passwords for multiple sites.
So what do people do instead of using password managers? They reuse the same password.
This is absolutely the number one mistake made by anyone who values the safety of their information. By reusing the same password, you allow hackers to not only access one website but essentially everything else you use the same email and password for.
While it’s ideal to make all of your passwords as complex as $386PsdU0@Wg, what are the odds you’ll actually remember this password? This is where password managers come into play.
Safety Outside of Password Managers
Aside from password manager programs, you’ll want to make sure that the devices you use aren’t compromised either. After all, what’s the point of a password manager if the robbers can just come barreling through the front door?
Checking your computer for malware, being wise about what software you install on your computer, and updating that software are all just as important to keep your private data safe. Any password manager program you choose banks on the fact that your devices themselves are safe.
If you’re a business owner, you may need to re-think the security measures you have in place.
Password manager programs are a valuable tool to store your log-in information and keep your business safe. Making sure your systems are malware-free, and all software is updated are also crucial factors to ensure there’s no chink in the chain.