Written by: Jay H.
We all know the importance of proper password management. However, despite knowing the risks, at least 65 percent of people reuse passwords across multiple, if not all, sites. It’s difficult to blame them, given that the average person has 70-80 passwords to remember, according to research by the password manager Nordpass.
“We now partly understand why people use easy-to-guess passwords — they simply have too many to remember. So there’s no surprise that people use either very easy passwords or have a few and reuse them for all accounts,” says Chad Hammond, a security expert at NordPass.
Using weak passwords or reusing passwords on multiple accounts puts users at risk of crimes, such as identity theft or ransomware. Also, if just one account is exposed in a data breach and the user reuses that password on multiple sites, they are at significant risk.
So how can someone remember 70-80 strong and unique passwords? Thankfully, they now only have to know one. Password managers are an excellent tool for generating and storing passwords, leaving the user to remember only the master password.
How Do Password Managers Work?
All password managers are similar: you save all of your passwords to the manager and access your password vault with one master password. That leaves you with only one complex and unique passphrase to remember, much more achievable than 70-80.
Most of the leading password managers also allow you to generate random passwords based on a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
So, is your password vault secure? Yes, in fact, the company operating your password manager doesn’t even know your passwords. All leading password managers utilize zero-knowledge security, making it much more difficult for hackers to access your passwords, even if a password manager company gets hacked.
What Are The Best Password Managers?
There are various password managers out there, but the decision boils down to personal preference. Generally, as long as you are using a renowned manager, you can’t go wrong. Here are some of the most popular options available:
1Password offers password protection for individuals, families, and organizations alike.
There are two primary plans 1Password offers, one allowing individual users and their families, up to five members, to use the manager for secured logins. The other focuses on businesses, protecting those working from home and organizations in general.
1Password also protects you from threats such as keyloggers and phishing attempts, working only in verified browsers for maximum safety.
This password manager is great for personal or corporate use. Plans for individuals are $2.99 per month and $4.99 per month per family of five. For businesses, prices are $7.99 per user per month.
NordPass is a very competent password manager suitable for any user. With browser plug-ins and desktop and mobile apps for most major software, you can access your passwords securely no matter your device.
Like most password managers, NordPass can generate complex passwords and strongly encrypt your passphrases. Unlike some password managers, it also allows for unlimited password storage. You can also securely store credit card and banking information to make online shopping easier.
The free version allows you to log into NordPass only on one device at a time, but upgrading to premium lets you stay logged in on up to six devices at once. Premium plans start at $1.99 per month, billed annually.
Dashlane is a capable password manager that comes with impressive features.
You can store up to 50 logins in a secure vault with multi-factor authentication on the free plan. It can also store personal information and fill out forms automatically.
Dashlane’s premium service allows you to sync your information across all of your devices and monitors the darknet for information on data breaches. If it finds your accounts’ stolen credentials, it will send you an alert. You also gain access to a file storage vault and even a VPN for secure web browsing.
Dashlane’s premium plans start at $3.33 per month billed annually for individuals, and business plans are available for teams and organizations.
LastPass is one of the most straightforward password managers to use. Given that it supports all major platforms and has a wide range of features, it’s an excellent choice for anyone looking for a password manager.
The free tier allows you to sync LastPass across either mobile or desktop devices, lets you generate secure passwords, and store unlimited passphrases. You can also securely store other sensitive information, such as notes, addresses, payment cards, and bank accounts.
You can pay for a premium plan to gain access to features such as syncing across unlimited devices, 1GB of online file storage, darknet monitoring of your accounts, and technical support. Premium is $4.25 per month for individuals, billed annually.
Forget Your Passwords
Password managers make it easy to manage complex and unique passphrases across all of your accounts. However, they aren’t the end-all of password safety. For instance, if your master password is weak, recycled, or previously exposed, your entire vault is at risk of exposure. You should also use multi-factor authentication with your password manager to add another security layer beyond the master password. And be sure to change your passwords regularly for all of your accounts to stay safe from data breaches that may happen.
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