Whether or not the average user is aware just how important securing their online data is, there are still plenty of people who either use ridiculously weak passwords or have a strong password that is reused over and over again. Their motivations are understandable since the human brain isn’t perfect at memorizing a wide variety of overly complex passwords, and so either of these two approaches ignore the obvious issue that once a password is compromised the user’s life becomes an open book for wrongdoers.
However, if the health of a password is strong and are regularly maintained – with the aid of a password manager, for instance – then not only can hacking attempts be effectively prevented, but necessary countermeasures can be easily taken in case of leaks.
When Password Managers Become Guardian Angels
Storing passwords in a dedicated app is only the first step towards securing your online presence because even if a password is kept inside an encrypted virtual vault, the whole protection provided by the password management software is worth nothing if the password is easy to guess, has been reused multiple times, or is involved in a major database leak. Simply put, users and password managers need to cooperate in order to ensure that important data stays safe at all times.
Thankfully, bespoke password management solutions provide the necessary tools with which the creation of weak, reused, or compromised passwords can be taken care of for good. In fact, protection starts as soon as passwords are imported from a connected web browser into the password management software. Once done, the password manager evaluates the strength of each credential either by using traffic light colors or a percentage, meaning any passwords that need to be replaced are properly highlighted.
Replacing these weak passcodes requires little to no effort from users, too, as the built-in password generator can create virtually unbreakable passwords with just a click, which will be much better alternatives than the previous credentials. Manually doing this may seem like a tedious task, but it’s really an insignificant sacrifice to be made for thorough protection of your online identity.
Additional Password Health Features
While all these tips are incredibly important for password health, certain solutions even go one step further by providing additional features to ensure that the likelihood of a compromised online account is minimal.
Despite being quite a basic password manager – which isn’t surprising considering that it is free of charge – Avast Passwords has all the features needed to maintain healthy and strong passwords. The built-in password evaluator and password generator are already huge assets, but it’s the Password Guardian feature that really stands out by monitoring websites for leaked credentials and highlight all the passwords in the vault that need intervention. Admittedly, Password Guardian is only available to those who have subscribed to the unlimited paid version of Avast Passwords, but since this pay-only version can be had for as low as $1.53 a month, it’s a sacrifice that’s worth every penny.
Although 1Password cannot replace passwords for you, its Watchtower feature makes sure that no weak credential will evade its ever-watchful gaze. In addition to monitoring the vault for weak or reused passwords, 1Password constantly checks against data breaches by integrating with the online tool HaveIBeenPwned.com. This is already a great relief, but 1Password actually ups the ante with its bespoke password generator and the option to use the app itself as a two-factor authenticator.
This company is already known for combining convenience with impenetrable security, and this truly shines through when it comes to maintaining healthy passwords. Aside from evaluating every password in its vault and listing weak and reused passwords, Dashlane also generates a password health score that reveals the overall strength of passwords in a straightforward manner. Additionally, the software also properly alerts users of any security breaches involving their online accounts, after which precautions can immediately be taken by replacing compromised passwords manually or, if the affected website is supported by Dashlane, automatically with the aid of the password changer.
Best Password Managers of 2019