What is a Password Manager?
At home and work, you have more online accounts than you can possibly remember. And since 81% of breaches are caused by weak or reused passwords, it’s essential that each account have a unique password. So how are you supposed to remember these strong, unique passwords? You can’t. But a password manager can.
A password manager is a tool that does the work of creating, remembering and filling in passwords. Simply log into an online account for the first time and the password manager will store your username and password so every time you go back your credentials will be filled in automatically.
It’s worth noting that the password manager is more than just passwords. It allows:
– Store personal Information. Create a Secure Note for each and store all the relevant information of your most valuable documents – passport, credit cards, social security, etc.
– Fill in online forms. No more need to enter your address or credit card information every time you make a purchase. All of this can be securely stored in your password manager and filled in with one click.
– Share passwords. If others need access to your accounts, share login information securely through your password manager either with your team at work or with your family at home.
Generate strong, random passwords
Passwords are a real security threat. Over 80% of hacking-related breaches are due to weak or stolen passwords, a recent report shows. So if you want to safeguard your personal info and assets, creating secure passwords is a big first step. And that’s where the password manager can help. Impossible-to-crack passwords are complex with multiple types of characters (numbers, letters, and symbols). Making your passwords different for each website or app also helps defend against hacking. The password manager runs locally on your Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, as well as your iOS or Android device. The passwords you generate are never sent across the web.
The best password tips from the pros
- Always use a unique password for each account you create. The danger with reusing passwords is that as soon as one site has a security issue, it‘s very easy for hackers to try the same username and password combination on other websites.
- Don’t use any personally identifiable information in your passwords. Names, birthdays, and street addresses may be easy to remember but they’re also easily found online and should always be avoided in passwords to ensure the greatest strength.
- Make sure your passwords are at least 12 characters long and contain letters, numbers, and special characters. Some people prefer to generate passwords that are 14 or 20 characters in length.
- If you’re creating a master password that you’ll need to remember, try using phrases or lyrics from your favorite movie or song. Just add random characters, but don’t replace them in easy patterns.
- Use a password manager to save your passwords.
- Avoid weak, commonly used passwords like asd123, password1, or Temp!. Some examples of a strong password include: S&2x4S12nLS1*, JANa@sx3l2&s$, 49915w5$oYmH.
- Avoid using personal information for your security questions, instead, use the password manager to generate another “password” and store it as the answer to these questions. The reason? Some of this information, like the name of the street you grew up on or your mother’s maiden name, is easily found by hackers and can be used in a brute-force attack to gain access to your accounts.
- Avoid using similar passwords that change only a single word or character. This practice weakens your account security across multiple sites.
- Change your passwords when you have reason to, such as after you’ve shared them with someone, after a website has had a breach, or if it’s been over a year since you last rotated it.
- You should never share your passwords via email or text message. The secure way to share is with a password manager that gives you the ability to share a hidden password and even revoke access when the time comes.
Don’t Forget Other Security Measures
Using a password manager isn’t the only step you need to take to stay safe online. In addition to setting strong passwords, you’ll want to take other security measures, too, such as using multi-factor authentication (for your password manager and other accounts) and keeping all your computer and phone software up to date.