#TechBytes: How password managers can keep you safe online
Today, online safety is the biggest concern for all of us. Websites, even the popular ones, are being breached and there's no easy way to stop hackers from breaking in and stealing our confidential data. However, what one can definitely do is contain the impact of these attacks with a reliable password manager. Here's why you should use these encrypted tools.
A password manager can be described as a safety vault for all your critical passwords, one that is locked with a master key. And, importantly, it not just keeps passwords safe, but also helps with generating strong and unique passwords for websites. This way, once a password is created, it remains locked in the vault and is automatically filled when you try logging in.
The biggest problem with passwords is the fact that they are difficult to remember. No matter how smart you are, it is just impossible to remember a unique and strong password for every website and account. However, a password manager solves this hassle by creating a unique password for every site, saving it, and then filling it automatically. So, no more forgetting passwords!
When you don't have to enter passwords, there's no chance that anybody near you could pull your confidential login details. Also, password managers create super strong passwords by using a combination of uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols. This makes unscrambling (reversing of leaked hashed/encrypted passwords) difficult for hackers and directly bolsters the security of your online account and the data it holds.
For those unaware, emails and their hashed passwords can leak through website breaches. Just recently, as many as 2.2 billion unique email-password combinations, compiled from various website breaches, were found freely circulating on the internet.
When username-passwords leak, hackers may use automated techniques to try those combinations across multiple sites/services and gain access to any one of them. This attack, commonly known as credential stuffing, can easily impact people who tend to use same passwords across multiple sites. However, if you have a password manager, there's no chance that the leaked password would work on another platform.
Now, that you know why password managers are important for online safety, you can use one of the many password managers available on web. There are several good options, but the best ones in our opinion are LastPass, DashLane, and 1Password. They all have a good track record and can sync your username-passwords from one device to another without compromising the element of security.
Before you go ahead and get a password manager, do note that its master key should be picked carefully. It should be unique, strong but easy to remember. If you lose the master key, the stored passwords would become inaccessible.