Did you know that billions of personal records are stolen all across the world every year? This number may seem absurd to you, but it’s very accurate. This is why keeping your passwords secure is very important!
But passwords can be hard to manage, especially if you have multiple accounts with your personal information. Luckily, a password manager can help mitigate these cyber security issues. So if you’ve been wondering, “are password managers safe,” then keep reading to learn more!
What Is a Password Manager?
A secure password manager can store your important data safely! They do so by using encryption. If you’re not familiar, encryption is a wall of protection.
More specifically, they take your information and convert it into a code. Encryptions originated in the military and government facilities because they’re virtually impossible to hack!
Are Password Managers Safe?
Password managers are very safe because they offer many layers of protection. For starters, password managers will ensure your safety by using zero-knowledge security programs. In other words, your passwords become encrypted before they’re transferred.
Therefore, once the password managers get them, they’re unable to decipher them. And there’s also a low chance of someone accessing your vault because they’ll need a master password that only you will know! The password managers secure your sensitive data and personal dat in a secure database file when it is offline.
Lastly, a secure password manager will also suggest that you change your passwords. This is important since changing your passwords will diminish the possibility of a breach!
Overall, most software has issues including password managers. And most vulnerabilities or bugs are mostly fixed before a hacker is even able to enter.
Other Factors To Consider
Best password managers have many different layers of added protection. Therefore, the chances of a hack are very low! Down below are some safety details that you should know about.
Most password managers are complete security systems that extend over different devices. They can protect tablets, Mac, iPhone, Windows, and Android phones.
This way, you don’t have to worry about any of your passwords. Once you’ve picked a master password, your information is safely sent to a primary server. Once your information is encrypted and stored, you can share these safety features between devices.
Some devices have made it easier for individuals to remember their multiple passwords by auto-filling. Unfortunately, this feature also makes it easier for hackers to steal your information. Luckily, by having a password manager, you only have to remember one password!
Keep in mind not to use the same password but use secure passwords. You can always generate secure passwords which also help you with secure sharing of passwords.
Having a compromised password could make you vulnerable to attacks. This is because a compromised password is shared on the dark web to steal personal data.
Luckily, password managers can rate the strength of your new password. Some may even check the dark web and see if your information was recently shared! So you can rest assured that you’ll get alerts of any suspicious activity regarding your passwords.
What if I Forget My Master Password?
Forgetting your master password could result in some identification steps. For starters, all password managers have a different method for recovering a lost master password.
However, here are some basic steps that most password managers ask you to take. You’ll first need to reset your password. But you’ll need to confirm your identity before you’re able to do so.’
In addition, you might need to answer strict security questions. Or you’ll need to identify yourself using biometrics. Once you’ve successfully confirmed your identity, you’ll be able to reset your password.
If you’re unable to confirm your identity, your vault may not decrypt for safety reasons. This is why biometrics is the best way to identify yourself since you don’t have to remember a master password!
What Is Biometric Authentication?
Biometric authentication was first used for military and government purposes. Now we see biometric authentication in smartphones, laptops, cars, and password managers!
This security method works by detecting anatomical characteristics to verify their identity.
More specifically, biometric authentication can compare physical traits to a valid database. What the authentication looks for is an exact match to the current sample and the confirmed sample.
Once the match is confirmed, the person then has access to their vault.
The best password managers will work under a “Password Less” technology. Meaning they’ll confirm your identity using one of the following methods:
- Face ID
These options are the most secure, seeing that they cannot be stolen or copied. However, if you still prefer a physical password, pin codes and master passwords are great options!
Types of Password Managers
There are different kinds of password managers that contain different safety measures. If you would like to learn more about types of secure password managers, then keep reading!
Cloud-Based Password Managers
A cloud-based design is one of the best kinds of protection for your data. The protection level is very high compared to other designs. For example, the cloud-based design allows for safe backups, and they regularly check for security breaches.
Cloud-based managers also work across multiple browsers and systems. Therefore, you won’t have to copy and paste your information from one database to another. Overall, cloud-based managers are safer since they possess more safety features!
Browser-Based Password Managers
Browser-based managers are fairly safe as they have password authentication and can rate the safety of your password. However, some browser-based managers don’t have cross-browser syncs.
In other words, if you move from one browser to another, you may not be able to import and export data safely. This could also result in insecure password storage.
Desktop-Based Password Managers
Desktop-based password managers are considered to be very safe. These kinds of managers don’t require an internet connection and can store data locally. Therefore, the chances of getting hacked are very unlikely. The only way you could possible get hacked is via a keylogger.
This kind of installation could track your typing and steal your master password. Nevertheless, biometric authentication can prevent this. However, with desktop-based managers, you’ll have to do backups constantly.
And if your device breaks, your vault will not be able to be replaced. This is one of the reasons why many people opt for cloud managers instead.
Can a Password Manager Get Hacked?
Although unlikely, password managers can get hacked. However, many steps are taken to prevent a full breach. For starters, the zero-knowledge system protects your information from hackers.
This is because if a hacker was to get into your vault, all they would see is encrypted data. And the encryption would take a lifetime to decode into usable wording. On the off chance that a hacker has stolen your device, the chances of a full breach are also slim.
That’s because they would need your master password to access any information. Not to mention, if you’re using biometric data protection, the chance of a full breach is nearly impossible.
Security Breaches in the Past Few Years
Overall, security breaches or “hacks” are not all that common. However, there have been some cases reported in the last couple of years. And for you to make informed decisions, you’ll need to know about these hacks.
For starters, in 2015, LastPass discovered a hacker in their servers. As a result, they were able to steal people’s password hints and email addresses. However, the damages were minor because they still needed to verify the stolen data by email.
In 2016, a variety of different companies were affected by hackers. The most well-known companies were LastPass, Keeper, and 1Password. However, the hack was not a success, as they would’ve needed to trick the users into disclosing passwords.
In 2017, LastPass was once again on seen as unsafe. This time, the features for the browser add-ons were seen as dangerous. However, they were quickly changed before any information could be stolen.
Lastly, in 2019, KeePass, LastPass, and Dashlane were all found to be potentially dangerous. However, this potential threat only applied to a specific group of people who used Windows 10!
The feature was also changed before any serious threats were reported. Overall, these “hacks” were not serious compared to the hacks that occur to unprotected users.
How To Store Passwords
The job of a password manager is to store, generate, and update passwords. However, many people still wonder how to save passwords securely.
For starters, it’s easier to store passwords with a password manager.
That’s because you can access all of your passwords by only entering your master password. Therefore, ensure your master password is unique because you don’t want hackers to hack through your vault. Once you’ve made a secure vault, you can safely store your passwords!
The best password manager keeps all your passwords and has a password generator and option for two factor authentication. It automatically fill your complex passwords so you would never use weak passwords and creates strong passwords for better online security.
Tips for Coming up With a Great Password
It’s never a good idea to use personal information to create passwords. This means you should avoid birthdays, special dates, and phone numbers. Down below are some more important tips for creating the best passwords.
Don’t Reuse Passwords
Oftentimes, people make the mistake of using the same password for different accounts. Although this can make it easier to log into your accounts, it’s very dangerous. But luckily, with password managers, you only have to worry about your master password while still keeping your information safe.
Long Passwords Are Better
The sweet spot when making a password is at least 12-15 characters long. Longer passwords are not easy to hack into because there are infinite amounts of character possibilities. Therefore, the shorter you make your password, the easier it is to get a combination match.
The more unique and random your password is, the better! Therefore, avoid passwords like “1234” or anything relating to your personal life. Here is a list of things you should avoid when making a password:
- Favorite sports team
- Birthdays or special dates
- Pet names
- Home addresses
- Favorite songs or music genre
- School names
It’s always best to develop a random sequence of letters, characters, and numbers without any significance. These kinds of passwords will be hard to uncover and crack.
It’s recommended that you create a password utilizing numbers, letters, and special characters. Here are some examples of special characters:
However, with special characters, you need to make sure you’re not overusing them. Therefore, it would be best if you also kept them separated. Here are some examples of what NOT to do:
Notice how the special characters bunch up next to each other? This kind of combination is weak and can easily be hacked.
Instead, you should spread out your capital letters, digits, and symbols in the center of your password. Avoid using these combinations at the beginning or end of your passwords.
Password Manager Alternatives
If you’re still not convinced that password managers are a great investment, then here are some tips to keep your data secure:
- Never use auto-filling on unknown sites
- If your account becomes deactivated without your permission, contact customer support
- Change your passwords frequently
- Use biometrics for your devices
Overall, password managers are way safer than other alternatives. By not having a password manager, you could be putting yourself in a vulnerable position.
And if you have personal information like credit cards, health, or social security information, this could leave you in financial ruin.
Of course, not every password manager will be 100% effective. However, a secure password manager is the last line of defense against cybercriminals. Therefore, it’s always best to have this protection in case you fall victim to a scam.
Secure Your Data Today
Cybersecurity should be a priority, especially since personal information is readily available nowadays. But now that you’ve read through this important information, you can make an informed decision on “are password managers safe.”
So if you think you’re ready to take your security to the next level, sign up today for free!