Are you constantly forgetting your passwords, or do you have a single password for all of your accounts? If you’re wanting to improve your security and reduce the risk of getting hacked, it might be time to consider a password manager.
What is a password manager?
A password manager is an application which stores your login details for all of your online accounts. It works by creating a master password, which you enter in order to access your password vault.
This is a collection of all the login details that you have for all of your accounts, so that you’re able to access them quickly and easily. You can also add multi-factor authentication to your password manager to make the password vault more secure.
I have a single password for everything already - what’s wrong with that?
Having a single password for all of your accounts is a common solution for people who frequently forget their passwords. It means that regardless of the device you’re using, or the account you’re trying to access, you’re always able to access the information or application that you need. It’s also a terrible idea.
When you’re logging into an account, often you’ll be asked for two pieces of information by default; your email address, and your password. Your email address is not private information. You use it to contact everyone from your local council to your supermarket, it’s probably listed on your website or social media, and nowadays it’s on every form you fill in. This isn’t difficult information to come across online.
Your password is private information; so private that it likely appears in dots when you type it in. This string of letters and numbers is often the only thing preventing a hacker from getting access to your account. However, every time you use a password that you’ve used before, you’re halving the effectiveness of that password. This is because you’re doubling the amount of places that password is stored against your email address.
If you’re using a single password for all of your accounts, and one website or application gets hacked, then every single account where you use that email and password combination has been compromised. That’s why one secure password isn’t enough to protect all of your accounts; if a company gets hacked then all of your accounts with those details are at risk.
What makes a password manager more secure?
On the face of it, having a password manager might seem pretty similar to using the same password for all of your accounts; there’s a single password that you use, and after you’ve entered it you can access all of your account details. However, a password manager is far more secure.
When you use the same password over and over for different kinds of accounts, your security is only as good as the most insecure website. Smaller websites are less likely to encrypt passwords or login details, so your login details could be accessible to anyone who accesses that website.
Password managers are often encrypted, and built with security at the forefront, rather than as an afterthought. They’re also more likely to include multi-factor authentication than a standard website, which means you need a password, and a unique number from your mobile device or a biometric to access your data.
What password manager should I use?
We’d recommend LastPass, which is a very well established and secure password manager. LastPass features strong encryption, as well as local-only encryption, which means your master password is never sent to LastPass or stored on their servers.
We would recommend LastPass over browser based password managers like Chrome or Safari, as services like LastPass can be used across multiple browsers, and often have more advanced security features.
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