It’s not only that the use of password managers is convenient, but it’s the safest way of protecting all your logins and any other sort of sensitive data. To be completely honest with you, owning a password manager is the only logical thing to do since neither Excel spreadsheets nor password logbooks can provide such a high level of convenience and security that is available with password management software.
Why Is It a Blessing?
For starters, advanced password managers always encrypt the data entered into their vault with military-grade encryption – which is the same level of security provided for online banking. It’s for this reason that downloadable password managers are without doubt a better option than the built-in password managers of web browsers that don’t even encrypt logins and forms, in turn making them vulnerable to hacking attempts. And if that’s not enough, password management software is capable of doing exactly the same thing as its browser-based counterpart, allowing for the autofilling of passwords; the only difference is that due to the extra protection provided by its encryption, all data remains hidden from prying eyes until the login is made.
However, it’s not just unwanted parties for whom the data is invisible, in fact the encryption is so strong that not even the password management software’s developers can find out what is stored inside the user’s personal vault or learn what kind of data they have synced between the various devices connected to the company’s cloud. What the company does know, however, is whenever a website the user has stored in the vault is compromised, and it will promptly alert all users to change their passwords and therefore preventing data theft and any further damage. Password managers are programmed in such a way that they will even evaluate the strength of each password that is entered into a vault, rating users’ passwords from a security standpoint and highlighting those that need to be replaced with more complex ones generated by the software’s built-in password generator.
These password management vaults only require memorizing the master password, but beyond that it’s even possible for vaults to be protected by either physical security tokens or by the more common two-factor authentication apps. Once this option is activated nobody will be able to enter the password manager’s storage without first providing a secondary passcode, which is the most effective line of defense should the master password ever manage to be compromised.
The Fault in Our Password Managers
Even though password managers are indeed your best option to protect valuable data from hackers and other wrongdoers, they are, unfortunately, not infallible. Thankfully, the list of problems is relatively small when compared to the advantages of these programs, though they could cause some major headaches if they aren’t properly dealt with.
Out of all the issues with password managers the biggest problem by far is related to the most convenient feature of all, the browser add-on. Unlike the password manager itself the extension is always a step behind security-wise, meaning that these handy tools are in fact the only backdoor hackers could use to compromise these solutions. Admittedly, the companies behind password managers are always alert, releasing the necessary security patch as soon as possible, but as the constant attacks against LastPass prove, they are far from enough.
The other weakness of password management software is the master password, which is worth absolutely nothing if it doesn’t comply with the rules of creating strong passwords – which is the reason why people are trusting such software to begin with. And if there is no two-factor authentication option on board your chosen software, then the master password would essentially end up being your only line of defense against hackers. And there is no need to explain what might happen if that password is compromised…
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