Whichever way you put, the human element remains the weak link in most cybersecurity chains. One of the key areas where that shows is poor password management. Creating strong passwords is tedious, remembering them all is nearly impossible — especially for average human beings who tend to forget whether they locked the doors.
That’s why there are things like the most common password lists going around the internet that you can Google in just a few clicks. Creating an obvious password that you then use for everything is the strategy that most of us employ and that hackers have been abusing for as long as the internet existed.
Why You Need a Password Manager
A simple solution to the password conundrum is getting a reliable password manager. While it isn’t perfect, it can improve your security tenfolds, especially if you’ve just found 90% of your passwords in that handy list that I’ve linked to above.
Have Strong Passwords for Everything
Bank gets a strong password, Facebook gets a strong password, Pinterest gets a strong password. Become the Oprah of difficult to memorize and impossible to pronounce passwords that will make password crackers’ job really difficult. Your handy new tool will come up with the strongest combinations that you’d never bother to pick.
Get Rid of Post-Its and Notebooks
There’s no need to remember all your passwords — the password manager will do it for you. And if you’ve been employing the hacker-beloved strategy of re-using the same password for everything, well, this is going to feel the same, but it will be much safer. The only password you will need to remember is your master pass!
Don’t Let One Loser Ruin It All
Some websites are notoriously bad at taking care of your data. If you forget your password and the website sends it to you in an email — they’re storing it in plain text. That means a hacker will not even need to decrypt it! However, if you use a password manager, the attacker will not gain access to all your accounts, because you’re not going to be using the same metaphorical key for every door anymore.
Trust the Algorithm
We, as human beings, are wonderful at a lot of things — being creative, discovering new things, learning from observing the world. But when it comes to security, frankly, we suck. Password managers are programs that have been created for the singular purpose of securing the entry keys to your data, and they do it so much better than you can.
Don’t Add Extra Hassle to Your Life
Using a password manager is also easy — even easier than remembering which password you used for which website. All you need to do is memorize your master password, and then your new tool will create new passwords for new accounts and will auto-fill them each time you log in. Most of the managers allow syncing across devices — so that’s covered, too.
How to Know What Password Manager Is Reliable
With Google at your fingertips, the answer is simple: research. Try entering the title of the password manager you want to use, and add keywords such as “scam”, “malware”, “hack”, “data leak”, and similar things like that. If nothing comes up, you’re golden!
Here’s a few tools you can take a look at:
This is currently one of the most popular password management tools. It’s simple to use, clean, and it has a pretty good free version — admittedly, without the majority of the bells and whistles of the premium.
But if you do want all the extras, such as safe password sharing, priority tech support, and encrypted file storage, the premium plans start at only 2$/mo for a single user and 4$ for a six-user family plan. For a reliable security tool, that’s not too bad!
Dashlane is another password manager that’s been around for a long time. Just like LastPass, it comes with a free version. However, this version only allows to store up to 50 passwords on one device, so it’s not really very hassle-free, especially when you need it on your phone.
Its premium version starts at 3.33$ a month. With it, you get unlimited password storage, easy syncing across devices, encrypted file storage, and even Dark Web monitoring along with a VPN. That’s quite a list of benefits!
This tool has been a favourite for a lot of people, too. While it only allows trying its free version for 30 days, that’s more than enough time to find out whether you like this manager enough to pay for it or if it isn’t the right choice for you.
It’s premium version start at 2.99$ for a single-user option, and at 4.99$ for a family plan. That includes unlimited devices, safe storage, security alerts, two-factor authentication, and an interesting feature called “travel-mode” that should help you secure your data when you travel.
Nobody Is Perfect
Unfortunately, even though using a password manager is better than not doing so, it’s not a perfect solution. Just about anything can get hacked — and so can your password manager. That’s why it’s so important to pick a reputable provider who will try to secure the software as much as possible, and who will warn you about any potential data breaches as soon as they take place.
For example, LastPass had a security compromise that was highly publicized. All three of the password managers had security flaws (and other tools that we didn’t cover) that researchers have been able to find simply from looking at their apps’ codes. 1Password has moved away from safer password storage on your device to a cloud-based vault.
That’s the risk you take when you opt for the convenience of digitalizing your life. However, although this all may sound very grim, even the simple fact that you use a password manager makes it much more unlikely for someone to hack you.
There’s a bad joke about running away from a bear that involves taking along somebody who runs slower. When it comes to security, you don’t need to be perfect — and you can’t. What you can do is become better at it than the average internet user, so that when the hacker slash bear comes charging forward, you will not be the one who gets eaten.
At ROKKEX, we take security extremely seriously and our crypto exchange is built on ‘Security First’ principle. We want to share our expertise with the broader public for the world to become happy, safe, and wise :)
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