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What is a Password Manager?

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 Whether we like it or not, passwords are part of our daily life. Generally, it is quite hard to remember a lot of passwords, .so, then you chose to write them down or to use the same password all the time which isn’t a great idea. if so, you’re seriously leaving yourself open to exploitation, and it’s about time to upgrade your password game and learn all about the magic of a password manager. So, today, we’ll take a close look at a rising cybersecurity practice that has become increasingly important in recent years, the password manager.

What is a Password Manager?

 Password manager is a computer program that allows you to store, generate and manage all of your passwords in a fully-encrypted account. In short, it’s a safer way for you to conveniently store and manage complex and unique passwords for your various connected accounts. Without a password manager, you’re forced to remember all of your own passwords, which often means people are reusing the same weak, easily guessable passwords, leaving you at high-risk of exploitation. With a handy password manager, you will only need to remember one master password, while the autosave and autofill features of your password manager provider ensures your connected accounts’ credentials remain safe and secure. Most managers also allow you to store credit card information and secure notes. Password managers generate complex, secure passwords for new account logins and store the information in a highly encrypted centralized environment. That means no more tedious typing of complex passwords you can’t remember or easily crack-able passwords you’ve overused, and seamless logins for all of your connected accounts. Many managers also allow secure password sharing. It also provides cross-platform support so your account is accessible on all browsers and devices, and multi-factor authentication to ensure your password remains as secure as possible.

 How password manager works?

Many password managers utilize a military-grade cipher to encrypt and decrypt data for the exclusive use of authorized parties. The type of encryption most commonly used by password managers, AES 256-bit, offers a level of encryption you’d find difficult to crack, even with unlimited resources at hand.

To understand a password manager’s functionality, it’s important to understand that there are three major types of password managers

that work in different ways:

  • locally-installed or offline,
  • web-based or online,
  • and stateless or token-based.

Locally-installed or offline password managers store passwords directly on your device. Passwords are kept in an encrypted file separate from the password manager itself, but on the same computing device. Some managers store every password in a separate encrypted file, greatly increasing the security, but this depends on the provider. By its nature, offline managers can’t be hacked. If you keep that specific device always offline, then there’s no way to access it unless it’s physically pried from your tightly closed fist. But you should know there are a few flaws with this type of password manager.

The first is using them on multiple devices. So, there is only one location, and some-how you’ve got to sync other devices with that one vault, which usually means you’d have to have your locally-installed password manager online, and this means it potentially becomes vulnerable to third parties.

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Web-based or online password managers are by far the most common type of manager and store your passwords in the cloud, almost always on your provider’s server, meaning they’re accessible from anywhere at any time without the need to install the password manager software on each device. But how do you keep these passwords shielded from the provider themselves? Any reputable, trustworthy password manager provider includes “Zero-knowledge technology” as part of their service, meaning your passwords are encrypted before being sent to their servers. You should also know that this means that your passwords will be vulnerable to access attempts by third parties around the clock. Online password managers are often paid services, but at lower rates they won’t break the bank. These providers usually have reliable 24/7 customer service to assist in case of any password emergencies.

Lastly, stateless or token-based keyword managers use a local piece of hardware such as a USB flash drive to house a key that unlocks a particular account. These managers don’t employ password vaults, but rather generate new passwords every time you log in. And, because there is no database information, these managers don’t require synchronization and are considered safer since there’s no place for a hacker to find all of your passwords. Unlike online password managers, token-based managers are often free and open-source. It’s worth mentioning, but we wouldn’t recommend this type of manager for amateur users since customer support will be found exclusively through forums and knowledge bases, rather than dedicated customer support staff. And on top of that, you would need a SIM card reader or a USB stick to actually generate tokens.

what is password manager

Benefits

In a world where it’s become increasingly important to be mindful of everyday cybersecurity threats and do more to protect your privacy, information, and data, password managers can be a hugely beneficial, safe, easy-to-use, and low-cost way to keep your information better protected than ever before. All you have to do is remember, “One password to rule them all,” and let the password manager do all the work

Vulnerabilities

Nothing is 100% safe. With all the benefits and positive qualities of password manager, there are also some flaws in this computer program. Some of the main points are discussed below.

  • All data is saved in one place. In any case of breach, there is a risk of losing all the data.
  • Its not always possible to backup all the data completely
  • Password mangers are more likely to get hacked if your device is infected with malware
  • In case you forget your master password, your password manager must have a reset feature, otherwise there is chance of losing all your passwords.

TOP PASSWORD MANAGERS

 Below is the list of top password managers available in the market

  • RoboForm
  • 1Password
  • NordPass
  • DashLane
  • LastPass
  • Keeper

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