Today is World Password Day.
Observed on 5 May, it was created by tech giant Intel to raise awareness about the importance of stronger passwords. It serves as an important reminder about online security. After all, the digital era comes with its own set of troubles. Needless to say, keeping a track and remembering numerous passwords is one of the major issues that every netizen has to go through. This is where good password managers are vital.
Instead of using the same password for all IDs, which poses the risk of getting hacked, password managers securely store all your passwords. Some of them even provide do-it-yourself (DIY) kits to help you retrieve your accounts yourself, in case of dire situations.
Most of us might opt for the easiest as well as the most harmful way of using convenient passwords like ‘123456’ or ‘password.’ They are, in fact, the most widely used credentials across the world. With increased digital accounts and platforms, the human memory often gives up on storing these passwords and we have to resort to password managers. They are like safety vaults, which store all your sensitive data and can help share the details across your multiple devices.
With World Password Day here, it serves a stark reminder to seriously think about the importance of cybersecurity, especially with the ever expanding horizons of the web and the increasing need for internet privacy and safety.
How do password managers work?
You have to create a master password for your accounts to sign up for a password manager. This master password helps encrypt all the details and sensitive information of your password vault. However, it is essential to note that though this password should be long and hard to guess, it shouldn’t be too random and vague, lest you should forget it yourself.
You can also take it a step forward and make it more secure by creating a multi-factor authentication (MFA) system for the password manager account. This can be done via SMS or one-time-passwords (OTPs). Some of the best password managers also provide an OTP-based hardware key that is as small as a real key and can go on keyrings.
In an era where hacking and dark web monitoring is on the rise, getting the safest and best password manager becomes extremely crucial. It is important to choose a dedicated password manager that syncs all the devices you use as well as helps you recover the master password if you forget it. While Windows and Apple platforms are included in the free versions provided by most, some also support Linux and Chrome OS. You might have to pay extra for adding more devices.
Take a look at some of the best password managers of 2022
Password management becomes more seamless and convenient with 1Password. Like other password managers, 1Password also uses a master password and users have the option of using a biometric log in like fingerprint or face recognition. You can also opt for a two-factor authentication via an OTP on your phone. But 1Password doesn’t have a free version.
In addition to major platforms like Windows, Apple and Linux, 1Password also supports Chrome OS and Command Line. One can access its browser extensions from Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Brave.
Needless to say, it comes with an option to autofill forms and easily syncs with all devices. The best part being, it doesn’t have a cap on the number of users sharing an account. This makes sharing passwords extremely easy as one can create guest accounts too.
But what makes it soar high above other competitors? It is the ‘Travel Mode.’ If you misplace your phone or any device or you are away from it, this mode deletes all sensitive information and makes sure no spying eyes can get to your personal data. Don’t worry, you will be able to retrieve it as well, later.
Another noted feature includes providing ‘masked email’ addresses. Keep your original email ID safe and your privacy unhampered with this 1Password and Fastmail collaboration product. ‘Psst!’ is a popular feature which provides an easy and protected solution to share passwords. It generates temporary weblinks to share passwords and other data which is stored in 1Password, however, the person receiving need not be a 1Password account holder.
Buy 1Password here.
Equipped with a free version and a premium option, this password manager is a popular one-stop solution to all password and safety hassles. Bitwarden’s free version is the real deal and will instantly grab your attention. It gives unlimited passwords, syncs across all devices and even gives the option to self-host your password. This means your digital vault will be stored in your system or premise or your organisation’s premise and not on a cloud.
Along with unlimited password storage and the feature to share data across unlimited devices, it also gives access to a password generator, encrypted file storage for credit card information and other data, a live chatting platform as well as mobile and desktop apps.
Those going for the paid premium version get access to 1 GB encrypted files, two-factor authentication feature, certain emergency access and data breach reports which shows if an email ID has been compromised in terms of password health.
While Dashlane is priced slightly higher than the others, it is one of the best password managers out there with its host of security features and has over 14 million customers.
Dashlane not only allows two-factor authentication but also gives three options for the second step. This can either be a pin that you know, an OTP or face recognition. Hence, it takes security a notch higher. It also handles dark web monitoring and actively sends data breach alerts to make you aware if your personal information has been leaked. It recently shut down its desktop app and shifted to a web-based user interface which is a slight deviation from others in the market.
The free version gives a storage space for 50 passwords on a single device, but the premium version adds the advantage of a VPN protection while surfing the web. It also helps in dark web monitoring for five email IDs, 1 GB encrypted storage along with basics like password generator and an autofill feature. The premium plan lets you access all passwords using the Universal two-factor authentication factor (U2FA) that requires you to insert a USB like device on your system and access your data without installing anything.
It is supported on almost all browsers including Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android, along with Safari, Edge, Chrome and Firefox.
Buy Dashlane here.
Staying true to its name, this password manager keeps all your password and data stored in your own system and device instead of a cloud storage, however a strong master password is the key to access them all.
Like any other good password manager, Keeper also offers two-factor authentication and provides a number of ways like SMS, OTP, pin code, RSA SecurID, Duo Security, Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) security keys like YubiKey and KeeperDNA. KeeperDNA is a verification process by the Keeper password manager which enables biometric verification via a smartphone or smartwatch.
It not only provides unlimited password storage but also has a safe and secure private chatting platform— KeeperChat. It lets users send images, videos, sensitive files and documents without any hassle or high risk of data leak. The data is encrypted using the 256-bit AES technology.
With an amazing user interface, this password manager has extensions for all major browsers and iOS and Android mobile apps. Making itself compatible for almost all platforms, Keeper has desktop apps for Windows, macOS and Linux. You can also access your vault via the Keeper website.
There is no free version but the password manager has plans catering to various needs like family, business, personal and student.
Buy Keeper here.
Arguably one of the most secured and best password managers, LastPass is gaining all the popularity for its extremely easy-to-use interface and MFA.
Recently it reduced the number of devices to store passwords to just one for users of the free version, however, it provides other features and benefits that cannot be ignored. The free version also allows unlimited password storage on the device, uses AES-256 bit encryption to secure all data, MFA along with the regulars like automatically fill forms and a password generator. The MFA ranges from smartphone verification, fingerprint as well as the external verificators like Yubikey, Google, Sesame or Microsoft. The autofill and autosave features practically help you forget all credentials for your online accounts and be absolutely hassle-free.
The premium version also provides dark web monitoring, 1 GB file storage, emergency access, one-to-many-sharing and priority tech support.
LastPass has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Edge and Edge Legacy.
A relatively new name in the block, NordPass is a product of NordSec, which also has NordVPN. Along with browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera, the password manager has iOS and Android mobile apps and has apps supported on Windows, macOS and Linux desktops.
It uses a master password and only one device is supported in the free version but the premium version syncs information across six devices. While it securely stores unlimited password, credit card information and other banking details to aid in faster and smoother e-commerce transactions, NordPass doesn’t have an autofill feature to fill forms.
(Main image: Towfiqu barbhuiya/ @towfiqu999999/ Unsplash; Feature image: Cottonbro/Pexels)