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Your guide to password managers

We cannot stress this enough but in order to keep your personal information online secure you need
a strong password (or rather, many strong passwords). And while reuse and recycle might be a great
advice to decrease the amount of household waste produced, it is not a helpful tip when it comes to
keeping your devices and accounts safe.

You might be thinking now, how am I meant to remember the myriad of passwords for every single
website and device to ensure my online safety? Enter, the password manager. Password managers
are designed to make your life easier – they store all your passwords in one place and all you have to
remember is the master password to access the manager itself. While it might sound scary to put all
your information in one place, it is actually more secure than say, storing it on your smartphone’s
notes app. Why? Your password database is encrypted rather than left in a plain text format –
making it much more difficult to gain access to it.

Password managers can also randomise your passwords making it harder for hackers to find a link
between you and your password. Unfortunately, we tend to remember information that is
meaningful to us which makes it tempting to use your daughter’s date of birth, your dog’s name, or
the name of your favourite restaurant as a password. This information is not only an easier target to
crack but also something that you probably shared with someone online(or offline) at some point in
your life.

Browser-Based Password Managers

Nowadays, most browsers offer a password manager function. However, it is important to keep in
mind that this might not be the safest option as a majority of them (apart from Mozilla Firefox) don’t
encrypt the database that is stored on your computer’s hard drive. So unless you do that yourself,
you’re not offered that much protection from a potential attack.

Dedicated Password Managers

There are many options to choose from if you want to get a dedicated password manager – a
programme that specialises in keeping your online account safe. We decided to gather up some of
these managers in one place and take a look at their advantages and disadvantages for you.

Dashlane
Pros:
– Offers VPN
– Makes it easy for you to sync your devices
Cons
– Is expensive
LastPass
Pros:
– Offers multi-factor authentication (click here to learn more about MFA)
– Is easy to use
– Can be used on mobile devices
Cons
– Encounters server problems from time to time
NordPass
Pros:
– Lets you import data from all browsers
– Offers 2-factor authentication
Cons
-Doesn’t autofill forms for you
RoboForm
Pros:
– Offers MFA
– Offers an affordable premium version
– Stores data online or locally
Cons
-Doesn’t offer free device syncing
Bitwarden
Pros:
– Offers multiple devices syncing
– Offers unlimited online storage
Cons
-Is quite basic in its nature

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you an idea of what features you can get from
a password manager. When should you consider upgrading to a premium paid option of a password
manager? Overall, for individual user a free version might offer enough features to make your online
activity safer – some of them autofill your password, generate random and complicated password
combinations, and offer MFA. However, if you are an organisation there might be some relevant
extra features out there that paid password managers have in store, such as the ease of sharing
information between the employees whilst making sure the data is still secure and protected.

Downfalls of Password Managers

Nonetheless, we feel that it also worth noting that despite the positive aspects of password
managers we should underline the risks associated with using them. Firstly, as we mentioned before
there is only one password that you need to remember to have access to all your accounts. While it
is convenient and the data protected under this master password is encrypted, it raises the question
of what happens if somebody manages to gain access to that one password – they now have all your
information in one place. Because of this, remember to make this one password extremely difficult
to crack and take advantage of the MFA when offered to ensure increased protection of your online
data. Secondly, if you do want access to all the features offered by password managers it will cost
you, so the subscription fees are also something to be mindful of. And finally, password managers
are by no means considered a guarantee to cyber security. You need to stay informed on the current
risks and make sure that you’re getting the best possible protection that is available at the time.

It is extremely important to stay safe online and learn all about using the online resources in a
secure way. We are here to help you master your digital skills so you can feel more at ease to keep
in touch with your friends and family, and these new-found abilities might also increase your
chance of getting a job. Choose from a range of courses that we provide or get in touch for any
help you might require.

Knowing how to use the available online tools can really improve your financial situation and help you feel more confident. If you’d like to know more about digital solutions or you’re looking into expanding your online presence, simply book an appointment or get in touch with us.

Disclaimer

The information provided on this website does not constitute investment advice, financial advice, trading advice, or any other sort of advice and you should not treat any of the website’s content as such. Won Connect CIC does not recommend that any cryptocurrency should be bought, sold, or held by you. Do conduct your own due diligence and consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

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