Using the same password across several services isn’t advisable, from a security standpoint. If one website is compromised, anyone can use the same password to gain access to (for example) your email address and other login credentials, and from there, access your accounts. Hackers know that people are lazy and don’t bother to come up with different passwords for different accounts. They’ll stop at nothing to break into your account and steal your identity. Ideally, you should have a unique password for each separate account. If you find it impossible to remember all the account details, you could use a password manager.
Some question the necessity of using a password manager. Considering that doing so can help to protect your accounts and your device, it may be worth pursuing. A password manager is essentially a software application that generates secure passwords that are unlikely to be hacked, for use with local applications and web-based services. The software stores the generated passwords in an encrypted database. With a mobile application, you can access them at any time; you can retrieve whichever password you need. Some password managers even allow users to sync the password database across all of their devices. Following these suggestions will go a long way towards securing the login process.
In the case of a data breach, if you use a password like “123456”, it will be most likely decrypted in a matter of seconds. Basically, you’re voluntarily giving away your credentials in plaintext. For better security, you need a strong, unique password for each account, to ensure greater protection against decryption. The question now is: How are you supposed to remember all those unique login credentials when you have a large number of accounts? The answer is to use a password manager, which will take the heavy load off your mind. Then, you don’t have to worry that you’ll suffer during a data breach, because your passwords were weak enough to be decrypted.
If you place all your passwords in one single repository, you need to be careful. To be more precise, set a master password so that you can access all the other login credentials. Since that password will be used to encrypt the contents of your password vault, it must be a strong password. Think about using spaces or hyphens between words to make your master password easier to type. Let’s summarize some of the benefits of using a password manager.
- Not having to memorize all your passwords ever again – If you’re like everyone else, you do your best to memorize one or two passwords and use them across various services. This is a huge mistake from a security standpoint. Cybercriminals are able to guess what login credentials you use and break into your accounts.
- Generating highly secure passwords – Recent and past researchers have demonstrated that people generally don’t use secure passwords, meaning that they’re vulnerable when it comes to data breaches. Don’t assume that using uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers or special characters alone, will make your password more secure.
- Being alerted to phishing scams – Con artists and fraudulent criminals are looking for account identifiers and passwords, which can be used to commit identity theft. They send emails that look like they’re coming from a legitimate sender, such as a friend, coworker or known organization. If you use a password manager, if you are to visit the phishing site, you’re protected because the software won’t auto-complete the field for your username or password, because it (correctly) doesn’t recognize the website.
Falling victim to opportunistic cybercriminals is avoidable, as is protecting yourself from the risks of data breaches. The right tools will ensure that sensitive data isn’t exposed. The features discussed above make a password management solution effective and easy to use.
Safer than the alternative
If you don’t use a password manager to safely handle your login credentials, you’ll find it extremely difficult to remember all the unique, strong passwords you’ve created. You’ll most likely end up in the situation of reusing passwords. As you use your mobile device more often, and as more websites offer an optimized mobile experience, using a password manager is increasingly important. You’ll find numerous password manager apps with Android and iOS compatibility. There are many password managers on the market, including the free BitWarden software, which is popular among the open source community, as well as other commercial alternatives like 1password, Dashlane, LastPass and others. One of the most popular password managers right now is LastPass. Researchers have found that it has serious flaws, so it’s not the best choice.
Over the years, there have been several issues with LastPass, which could have allowed malicious actors to steal users’ login credentials. Penetration tester Mike Kukets discovered seven trackers in the LastPass Android app, covering user profiling and advertisements. Many cybersecurity resources strongly recommend that LastPass users switch to alternatives. Let’s assess one alternative, 1Password; it offers additional security features, such as Watchtower, 2FA, and Travel Mode, with the ability to share an all-access vault.
Undoubtedly, password managers can have flaws and vulnerabilities. At the end of the day, it’s not only the password manager that protects sensitive information. You should deploy anti-virus software so that that malware won’t infect your device. This way, you won’t experience an identity breach or suffer financial losses. Relying on less secure methods of password management isn’t recommended.
For further and final recommendations; add multiple layers to your security practices, so that you have multiple vaults. Additionally, use a smartphone-only vault. Many phones now have fingerprint readers and facial recognition access controls, so it’s a lot easier to secure your device. In summary, there are several things you can do to make your password manager more secure. You may find that doing so makes your online experience safe and stress-free.