Password manager, what it is and for what purposes it is needed

7 December 2023 11 minutes Author: D2-R2

Protecting your digital identity: How to choose and use a password manager

In today’s digital world, where multiple accounts and passwords are the norm, password managers are becoming indispensable tools for security and efficiency. A password manager is software that helps users create, store, and manage unique passwords for various online services. This tool is important not only to ensure the security of personal data, but also to optimize the work process. With the help of a password manager, you can forget about the need to remember many complex combinations, because it stores all your passwords in an encrypted vault, which can be accessed with only one master password.

Additionally, many password managers offer a feature to generate random and strong passwords, which is critical to protecting your accounts from being hacked. This reduces the risks associated with using the same password for multiple sites, which is a common problem in cyber security. Password managers are also often equipped with additional security features, such as two-factor authentication, end-to-end encryption, and auto-filling of forms, allowing users to not only protect their passwords, but also simplify the process of using them. These tools are important not only for individual users, but also for businesses, where managing a large number of accounts and keeping them secure is a key aspect of protecting important corporate information. Using a password manager significantly reduces the risks associated with cybercrime, such as phishing, hacking attacks, and data leakage, ensuring your digital identity is securely protected. In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at how to choose the best password manager for your needs and how to get the most out of its features.

The Origin and Development of “Password Managers”

The history of creating password managers is closely related to the development of the Internet and the growing need for safe management of many passwords. The idea of a password manager arose as a response to a problem faced by many Internet users: the need to remember a large number of complex and different passwords for different accounts.

The first password managers appeared in the 1990s, when the Internet was just beginning to gain popularity. These programs were simple applications that allowed you to store passwords and other sensitive information in an encrypted form. Their main goal was to provide users with a secure place to store their passwords, helping to avoid having to use the same password for multiple sites.

With the development of cyber threats and the increase in the number of online accounts, password managers have become more sophisticated and functional. They began to offer additional features such as generating random passwords, autofilling forms on websites, two-factor authentication, and syncing data between devices.

Today, in the era of high technology and big data, password managers are a key tool in the fight against cybercrime, helping users to ensure that their personal data is securely protected. They have become very popular among users around the world as an effective way to manage personal security in the digital space.

What is a password manager?

A password manager is a tool designed to securely store and manage passwords for various online accounts. Acting as a digital safe, it stores your login credentials as well as other sensitive data such as credit card information and important files. With one master password, you can access your saved passwords and even create strong, unique passwords for different accounts. This not only simplifies the login process, but also significantly improves your online security and reduces the risk of password cracking.

In addition, Password Managers often support features such as cross-platform access, secure password sharing, and two-factor authentication code storage, making them a valuable tool for providing strong protection against cyber threats.

Password managers perform several tasks, including storing and protecting passwords.

  • Password storage – The password manager securely stores your login credentials for various accounts on the Internet, such as sites and applications, in encrypted storage. This eliminates the need to remember multiple passwords and ensures that they are protected from unauthorized access. Only you can decrypt the information that is in the password store with the help of the master password.

  • Password Protection – A dedicated password manager offers a secure approach to protecting confidential information. Dedicated password managers are designed to keep your data secure with multi-level encryption. These solutions use advanced techniques such as zero-disclosure encryption. This means that even the service provider cannot access the passwords stored in it. This encryption method ensures that only you can access confidential information.

There is also a browser password manager that uses zero-disclosure encryption. This makes them vulnerable to potential hacking. Also, browser-based Password Managers often don’t log out, and if your device is lost, stolen, or infected with malware, all of your passwords will be compromised.

Generating strong passwords

Password managers can create complex and strong passwords because they have a built-in password generator. Generated passwords are often a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, making them difficult for cybercriminals to guess or crack.

Detection of weak and reused passwords

Password Manager always scans existing passwords and detects bad or duplicate passwords across multiple accounts. This allows you to find vulnerable passwords and replace them with more reliable ones that are difficult for cybercriminals to compromise.

Generation and storage of two-factor authentication codes

Many password managers, such as Keeper Password Manager, also support two-factor authentication, generating and storing one-time passwords based on time. This provides an extra level of security for your online account, as well as your password, as an additional check is performed when you log in.

Typically, two-factor authentication requires you to download an authenticator app, such as Google Authenticator. However, a password manager that stores the two-factor authentication code eliminates this need. The password manager generates a two-factor authentication code and automatically enters it when you sign in to your account.

Storage of files, images and other confidential data

Some password managers also allow you to securely store additional sensitive information such as files, images, and videos. This feature can be used to protect important documents, ID photos or other personal data. In addition, the best password manager allows you to share this information securely with other users.

The risks of not having a password manager

Not using a password manager can expose you to a number of potential risks and dangers that compromise your personal and financial security online.

Here are some of them:

  1. Weak and Repeated Passwords: Without a password manager, people often use simple or repeated passwords due to difficulty remembering complex combinations. This greatly increases the risk of accounts being hacked.

  2. High Risk of Phishing: Users without a password manager can more easily end up on fake sites and provide their information to fraudsters, as password managers usually don’t allow you to automatically enter passwords on suspicious websites.

  3. Forgotten Passwords: This can lead to frequent password resets, which can be not only inconvenient but also increases your security risk, especially if the recovery procedure is vulnerable or compromised.

  4. Data Leakage: If one of your accounts is compromised, if you use the same or similar passwords, it can lead to a chain effect where attackers gain access to several of your accounts.

  5. Inability to Create Complex Passwords: Without a password manager, creating and remembering complex, unique passwords for each account becomes an almost impossible task.

  6. Loss of Account Control: In the event of a password breach or loss, the lack of centralized password management can make it difficult to regain access and control over your accounts.

  7. Threat to Mobile Security: In today’s world where a lot of online activity happens through mobile devices, the lack of a password manager can also lead to data leakage through mobile applications.

Overall, not using a password manager significantly lowers your cybersecurity level and puts you at risk of cyberattacks and the loss of sensitive information.

The risks of not having two-factor authentication in password managers

The lack of two-factor authentication (2FA) on a password manager can lead to significant security risks, as 2FA is an important layer of protection in today’s cybersecurity practices. Here’s how it can be dangerous:

  1. Increased Hacking Risk: One-factor authentication, which uses only a password, makes it much easier for attackers. 2FA adds an extra layer of verification, often in the form of an SMS message, an authenticator application, or a physical key, making hacking much more difficult.

  2. High Risk of Data Theft: If your password manager becomes the target of an attack, having only one layer of protection (the password) makes your stored data significantly more vulnerable to theft.

  3. Losing Access to Important Accounts: If someone gains access to your password manager, they can change passwords and intercept access to all your accounts, including bank and email accounts.

  4. Phishing Attacks: Without the added layer of protection that 2FA provides, password manager users are more vulnerable to phishing attacks that aim to steal their credentials.

  5. Difficulty Detecting Unauthorized Access: 2FA often includes notification of login attempts, which helps detect suspicious activity. Without this, the user may not be aware of unauthorized access to their password manager.

  6. Increased Risk of Data Loss: If hacked, attackers can not only gain access to your password manager, but also delete or modify the data stored there.

Taken together, the lack of 2FA on a password manager significantly reduces the overall level of security and increases the chances of unauthorized access and data loss.

Should I use a password manager?

Yes, using a password manager is worth it because you will never forget your passwords. They will always be reliable, and you won’t have to use a separate app for two-factor authentication codes.

You will never forget passwords

Gone are the days of forgetting your password, using the same password for multiple accounts, or always resetting your password with a password manager. Your password is securely stored and you can easily access it at any time. This eliminates the need to remember complex passwords on your own.

Passwords will always be secure

The password manager generates a strong and unique password for each account. This ensures that your online account is always protected with a strong password that follows best practices such as using upper and lower case letters, numbers, special character combinations, and 16 or more characters in length.

You won’t have to use a separate app for two-factor authentication codes

Many password managers allow you to create and store two-factor authentication codes within the same program. This means you don’t have to switch between multiple apps or devices to access your two-factor authentication code, simplifying the sign-in process and improving overall security.

Choosing the right password manager

Choosing the right password manager is very important for protecting your online credentials and managing them conveniently. You should choose a password manager that provides zero-disclosure encryption, device compatibility, automation, and support for multi-factor authentication.

  • Zero Disclosure Encryption. Zero-disclosure encryption is a security approach that ensures data privacy by ensuring that only you can access and decrypt it. A zero-disclosure password manager ensures that even a service provider cannot take advantage of the stored data. This gives you complete control over them.

  • Device compatibility. You should choose a password manager that is compatible with the devices you use regularly, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. A cross-platform password management solution ensures access to passwords from anywhere and on any device.

  • Automation. A robust password manager has an automation feature such as autofill. AutoFill simplifies the process of logging in to sites and applications, because you do not need to manually enter credentials, which increases the convenience of work without compromising security.

  • Support for multi-factor authentication. Make sure the password manager you choose supports multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication provides an additional level of security, as it requires additional verification in addition to entering a master password. This feature significantly increases the password manager’s protection against unauthorized access.

These are just a few of the many important features you should be aware of when choosing a password manager. In addition, it is necessary to learn more about the reputation of the password manager and read customer reviews to avoid doubts about its reliability.

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