A password manager is a software program that manages your passwords. The program stores all your account passwords and creates a master one. You only need to remember that single master password to access any online account that you have.
The best password manager programs offer a variety of perks, including cross-platform functionality, security alerts, and weak password warnings.
You need a password manager for two reasons: to keep your information safe and to make your life easier.
Information and identity theft are huge concerns in our digital age. And since we store so much of our financial and personal information online these days, hackers see those accounts as a valuable source of illicit revenue.
But remembering log-ins is a pain. That’s why password managers also make your life easier. They both create and store your super-secure passwords. You can access them whenever and wherever you want and not have to worry about remembering a bunch of gibberish.
Yes, although they do come with risks.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Advanced password managers offer extra functionality and security that basic options can’t match.
Plus, there is always the possibility that your password manager service could get hacked. While this has happened, it is rare. You are still much safer using such a service than doing it on your own.
You should use such a service if you want to keep your information secure without wasting time trying to remember multiple complex log-in credentials.
Our daily lives are largely dependent on the internet. But, just as in the physical world, many thieves and opportunists roam the World Wide Web. They want to steal your information and your money. This is where passwords come in. You probably don’t even realize how many websites require you to have a password to access their services. Facebook, apps stores, banking websites, Netflix, Airbnb, and Uber are just a few examples.
In theory, passwords protect all the information that you store on these various websites from prying eyes.
But strong passwords can be hard to remember. It’s even harder to keep track of multiple unique ones.
That’s where password managers come in.
Anyone who uses the internet regularly needs this service. These days, it’s almost impossible to be an integrated member of society without creating numerous online accounts.
Many companies have woken up to the threat posed by weak account security. They now require you to create complex and/or unique passwords for each account you create.
But who can remember whether you used an “!” or a “$” at the end of your bank log-in? And was it your Netflix account access that you recently had to update, or your Hulu one?
Password manager software takes the guesswork out of remembering 65 different passwords. It also speeds up access to all of your online accounts in a highly-secure manner.
Plus, a password management software can protect you from phishing scams. Even if you mistakenly click on a malicious link, these programs won’t fill in your information because they can recognize that the URL is suspicious or unknown.
Password managers work like the admissions counter at an amusement park. Once you pay for your all-access ticket, you can go anywhere you like with just a flash of your wristband.
In a similar way, once you purchase a password manager and set up your account, you can visit any of your favorite websites without having to remember individual passwords. Simply enter the master password that you created into the manager app, and it will automatically fill in the relevant log-in credentials for you.
Similarly, if you choose to stay logged in to the password manager while you browse the internet, the app will automatically fill in log-in information for you on sites that ask for it and give you the option to submit or not.
An additional benefit that many of these services offer is the ability to auto-fill in forms with your personal information. This can save you loads of time and frustration when you are trying to shop online or submit important documents.
Even better, most services sync your information across devices. This removes the hassle associated with switching from your phone to your tablet and realizing that you have no idea what your app store password is these days.
Each person will have their own priorities when it comes to choosing the best password manager.
The best programs, though, should include most, if not all, of the following features:
● A free version that you can try out before deciding to purchase
● A reasonable subscription price point
● Compatibility between all the major platforms, operating systems, and browsers
● The option to auto-fill in personal information for online forms
● Password strength reports
● An emergency contact option for if you forget your master log-in
● Security breach alerts
In addition to these features, the most secure password management technology options are the ones that store their data on remote servers.
Remote servers are the least susceptible to hacking.
If your password manager stores either your individual passwords or the master password on your computer, hackers can access it if they breach your personal computer’s firewall.
There are also browser-based options for managing passwords.
They form a kind of middle ground between computer-based and server-based options. Browser managers offer many of the same functions as remote server versions, but they aren’t cross-platform compatible. And that can lead to huge headaches when you try to use a different browser.