What Are Password Managers?
We probably use passwords more than our signatures. Every day, we need to log into a wide range of websites or applications that require passwords, but remembering passwords can be a hassle for almost everyone. This is when password managers come into play.
Password managers are applications that let you store your credentials for different websites. When you forget a password, you can simply check your password from your password manager instead of going through the fussy resetting process. Password managers even have browser extensions that automatically fill in credentials for you.
What Are the Benefits of Password Managers?
Using password managers can be highly beneficial for safely storing all passwords behind one master password. Here are a few benefits of password managers.
1. You Don’t Need to Memorize Passwords or Write Them Down
Research shows that people need to memorize approximately 100 passwords even though passwords can be a big hassle. If you’re able to remember that many passwords, confusing credentials while logging into different websites isn’t uncommon.
Even if you write down passwords to avoid hassle, that’s a security risk in itself. Anyone having access to your notebook will access your accounts and may pose serious threats.
When you use password managers, you don’t need to remember or write down passwords. You just need to save them once and forget them for good. Every time you need that password, your password will be safe inside a vault that opens with a master password.
2. One Master Password Is Enough
When you create an account with a password manager, you need to set up a master password for that account. All you need to remember is that master password. Remembering one password is far more convenient than remembering tens or hundreds.
With that master password, you can access all your credentials inside that account. This reduces hassle. In some cases, you can use biometrics to access your password manager. For example, if you have this tool on your phone, you can set up your fingerprint to open the vault. This way, you don’t even need to remember that master password.
3. You Can Generate Strong Passwords
In most cases, we tend to use the same password for most websites. The fear of forgetting passwords makes us do so, but it’s highly risky to use the same password on multiple websites. If someone hacks one of your accounts, they might get access to other accounts using that same password.
To prevent this from happening, we need to use strong passwords, and all accounts should have different passwords. Strong passwords usually contain uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters, but creating strong passwords may be a hassle to many. If you use password managers, this tool will generate strong passwords for you. Using these random passwords on different websites will keep your information safe.
4. You Can Autofill Credentials
Typing your username and password over and over again for logging into multiple sites is boring and time-consuming. We often tend to allow browsers to save those passwords for us. Browsers have an autofill option that helps us log into websites faster.
This can be a severe security risk. Passwords saved on browsers can get breached sometimes. In such cases, you might lose access to your accounts and face various malicious activities.
Password managers can do the same task for us without risking data safety. Most password managers have browser extensions that can save credentials you use for a website and autofill those credentials later on.
5. Password Managers Have Data Encryption
Password managers aren’t only being used to save credentials. The main characteristic of a password manager is its data encryption feature. As a result, whenever you store data inside your password manager, that data gets encrypted, and no one can decrypt your data without your master password.
You can also store other sensitive information inside password managers as well. For example, you can save your bank account details, credit card information, or someone’s payment information inside password managers.
6. You Can Manage Shared Accounts
In some cases, we need to share passwords to various accounts with our colleagues, friends, or family. Though it’s not good practice to share passwords, sometimes it becomes a necessity, and that can be easily handled by password managers.
For example, if you have access to a social media account of your client and need your marketing team to complete tasks inside that account, you can securely share access without revealing that password. If you have a shared OTT account, password managers can be used to control access to that account.
How Do Password Managers Work?
Using password managers is pretty straightforward. In fact, it’s easier than remembering multiple passwords throughout your life. Here is how password managers work.
- You need to choose the right password manager first. Your password manager should have all the necessary features. We will discuss those features in a bit.
- Once you install your password manager on a phone or computer, you need to sign up for that service. After signing up, you must create a strong master password. Remember, password managers won’t store this password. So, you might face a hard time should you forget this master password.
- After creating your account, you can start storing credentials. Different password managers have different interfaces, but in most cases, you will have options to save that website name, username, password, security questions, and other relevant information to access your account.
- You might also need to download and install the browser extensions of the password managers. Once you turn on the extension, your password manager can save and autofill credentials for you.
- Most password managers have options for generating random passwords. If you are opening a new account on a website, you can generate a strong password using this tool.
What Features Should Password Managers Have?
Before you settle on a password manager, check if that software has the following features.
Supports Multiple Platforms
The password manager you choose should be compatible with different platforms. For example, your password manager should work perfectly on Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, or other operating systems.
With device syncing, you can easily use your password manager on multiple devices. For example, if you have saved a password on your desktop browser, the credential should be available when you browse that website on a mobile device.
A good password manager should use standard encryption protocols to secure your data. Some password managers let you share passwords in encrypted formats, which is safer.
Strong Password Generator
Creating strong passwords for every website you use is a big hassle. So, your password manager tool should be able to generate strong passwords.
In some cases, you might need to reset your master password. Many password managers provide a security key to use in combination with multi-factor authentication to reset the master password.
How Much Do Password Managers Cost?
The price of password managers depends on their features and security. If you need basic features such as saving your credentials, many free password managers are available out there. If you want more helpful features, you need to spend somewhere between $5 and $15 per month. Password managers with advanced features might cost more, and if you want one for business use, the cost can be between $50-$60 per month.