Passwords are a problem. If you’ve worked in the business world for any measure of time or even just been an active Internet user when it comes to maintaining your finances, shopping, and using communication tools.
Passwords are a paradox. They have to be easy enough to remember, but complex enough to fool everyone else. You can’t write them down for fear of losing them and getting hacked, but you have to have a different one for every single service you use to prevent a cybercriminal getting ahold of all of your data at once.
Somehow people are supposed to come up with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols that makes sense to them but would baffle anyone else. And then do that 10-30 more times for all of their other passwords.
Into this arena comes the password manager, which can seem like either the biggest blessing for computer users since Solitaire or the worst disaster since the Hindenburg. Somewhere in the middle is where you’ll likely find the truth.
As the name suggests, it takes care of all of your passwords, allowing you to take away stress on how your accounts are managed. There are usually two ways they work: Some store all your passwords in a virtual “vault” and give access to each one as you need it. Others assign you a master password, even longer than any other standard password, and make the code phrase you must remember each time a password. The rest of the passwords are created and maintained by the manager, which changes them periodically according to your requests and uses an algorithm to make them next to unguessable by someone trying to hack your system.
Strengths of a Password Manager
- No more memory problems: First and foremost, a password manager adds much-needed convenience to your life as the burden to remember all of them is no longer on your shoulders.
- More complex passwords possible: With the app’s ability to remember anything, you can use much more complex passwords to guard your most important accounts. Instead of 8-character combinations, you can make them 14, or, 22, or anything else.
- Different passwords for different accounts: Most people are using the same password or slight variations on it for different accounts. That is a thing of the past since the manager can remember different passwords for an innumerable number of accounts.
- Price; The price is right for most password managers, which are quite affordable additions to your array of apps.
Top Password Manager Choices
Dashlane is a leading choice for consumers thanks to its flexibility, available on Windows, Android, iPads, and iPhone devices. Its strengths include two-factor authentication, real-time alerts about threats, and browser password importing to make it convenient to collect all your information quickly on startup.
Among the free password manager options is LastPass which works for both mobile and desktop. It uses local encryption/decryption to add an extra layer of security and two-factor authentication.