Why use a password manager?
Passwords are now a necessity of our daily life. From social media accounts to email or banking logins, there can be a lot to remember.
Having a lot of different passwords can be difficult to keep track of. This is why a password manager is incredibly important for our increasingly online lives.
Since using the same password across sites results in a major security vulnerability (especially when they are common/easy to memorize), complex passwords are important to have.
Using a password manager:
A password manager functions as an encrypted database of your passwords protected by one strong master key.
On top of the security provided by one very strong password, all of the database is encrypted to protect your information. This means that even if someone was able to access the servers of the password manager provider or your database file, the information would be completely unusable.
Once you've logged into your password manager you will be able to view the account credentials that you have saved. These complex, randomly generated passwords can then be copy-pasted into the required field, or viewed to be typed in manually.
Choosing a strong master password:
One password may seem like a point of failure for someone to access all of your accounts. While this can be true, a strong password can help negate any threats that could occur. A strong master password should be something unique and memorable, and should not be a derivative of any other passwords that you may use.
The master password should be a minimum of 8 characters (a good rule of thumb for all passwords) but 12, 16 or more characters can help provide even greater security for your digital information. Each additional character used in a password requires exponentially more time to brute force or hack. Your password should use a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters for the greatest protection. For more information on passwords and an estimation of password cracking times, check out this website.
Although we are often informed not to have a physical copy of our passwords, it can be a good idea to have your master password in a personal journal or notebook as a backup. In the event you lose or forget your master password you can then have more than one record as losing your master password results in the loss of all your logins.
Password manager options:
- Dashlane – https://www.dashlane.com/
- LastPass – https://www.lastpass.com/solutions/business-password-manager
- 1Password – https://1password.com/
- Bitwarden – https://bitwarden.com/
- KeePass – https://keepass.info/ (for Advanced Users)
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