Episode 12: Password Managers

This episode features an interview with Michael from Info Sec by Design, our podcast and blog sponsor.

Too Many Passwords!

If you are reading this blog post and listening to our podcast, chances are you have many passwords to remember. There are reports that most people have over 100 online accounts. Each of those accounts require a password. The chances of remembering unique passwords for each account is slim to none.

How can you secure your passwords when there are so many to remember?

That is the challenge, and in fact many people don’t seem to care.

Google and Harris Poll, did some research and found many interesting facts.

This info-graphic shows the results of this poll. Looking at the numbers, the majority of Americans don’t keep their passwords secure at all.

This opens the door for serious security risks.

A password manager can help to combat this struggle.

Here at the Digital Self-defense Academy, we encourage our listeners and readers to investigate the options you have for password managers.

These options range from paid subscription hosted all online, to free options hosted on your local computer – and everything in between.

Use a Password Manager

A password manager is software that stores all of your passwords in a vault. If you have clicked save when your browser asks you if you want it to remember your password, have actually used a form of password manager. The browser option is better than using the same password everywhere, but it isn’t the most secure option.

With third party password managers, you will usually have a master password to access the vault, and then you have access to see all of your stored passwords. That means you only have to remember ONE password. Many password managers have extensions you can add to your browsers that will allow you to just click on the vault and it will fill out the password for you. They will also help generate long, strong, complex passwords that are much harder for hackers to breach.

Some allow you to install a local client on your device that stores the password locally. Some are 100% cloud based.

There are paid options and free options for password managers.

With so many options, how do you choose?

What to look for in a Password Manager?

When you are evaluating which manager to use, there are many questions that you need to ask to determine which is best for your lifestyle.

  1. Do you use multiple computers or devices that need to connect to the password manger?
  2. Do you have a favorite platform (Android, MacO2, IOS, Microsoft etc.) and all your devices match, or
  3. Do you use multiple device types to access your online accounts?
  4. Do you need to have multiple people access some passwords, but not all?
  5. Do you have a budget for a paid subscription or do you need to go with a free or low cost option?

Because of the different features each individual needs, and the high incidence of companies changing services and plans, we have chosen not to recommend a specific password managers. We recommend each individual do some research on different options, and find one that words within your specific needs.

How do you find the best password manager for your needs?

We suggest you go to your favorite search engine, and type “What are the best password managers?”

You will get a list of many websites that will list their ideas on the best password managers. They will list the best paid option, the best free option, the best option for IOS and many other categories. They will also be the current recommendations.

Spend some time looking at SEVERAL of these lists. Look at the websites they come from. If you are using Google as your search engine, if you see Ad before the website address, it may not be the best place to start. That tells you that the company at the top of the listings has paid to have their listing show up first. Scroll down to the first listings that don’t have Ad before the listing.

As you begin to review the best of lists, you will see password managers on all these best of lists. That is a good sign that they are reliable password managers and will keep your passwords secure.

If you see a company listed on only one of the lists, be very careful to do more research before you trust it completely. We are not saying it wouldn’t be a good company or a secure way to keep your passwords, but take some time to do due diligence.

We all have so many passwords to remember. We all have so much information to secure. Password managers give us peace of mind knowing that with the multitude of passwords we can have secure complex passwords without having to remember them all!

Be Safe out there!

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