While it may seem like a pain, having a different password for each online service you use is the best way to ensure the safety of your personal information, finances, and your sanity. One of you is getting hacked Spotify account And then using the same password to clean out your bank account isn’t going to do anything good for your quality of life. The best way to create and wrangle all the passwords you need to protect your online world is with a great password management tool.
Password managers do two things: they create secure passwords for your online accounts, and they store them securely so you don’t have to worry about remembering them.
After weeks of research and testing, we’ve selected eight leading personal password managers, both free-to-use and paid. Bitwarden (Available at Bitwarden) As the best overall option. Its robust feature set, its both paid and free tiers of service, ease of use, and compatibility with multiple mobile and PC operating systems make it the best password management solution for most people.
Other password managers we’ve tested
What you should know about password managers
A good password manager will let you access your passwords (as well as software licenses, banking information and other data that should be kept under a digital lock and key) on any computing device you own. All information protected by your password manager is protected by a single password, but recalling a single password instead of hundreds is a huge win for both your hard-working brain and your online data security.
Since password management software might be something you’ve never done before, we’re sure you’ll have a lot of questions about it Fortunately, we have the answer.
Why not just use a browser’s password manager?
Browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari have a password management system that does essentially the same thing that third-party password managers do. So why not use them?
Well, you can, but it might be missing the tools you need. Although some browsers have a password generator baked into them, a browser’s password management differs from a third-party password manager. Features such as secure password generation, the ability to choose generated passwords, two-factor authentication, the ability to share passwords with other users, and sync passwords across devices may not be available.
What features should I look for in a password manager?
Any password manager you choose should have a basic set of features: the ability to protect all your passwords behind one master password; Cross-device password sharing and ability to edit saved passwords as needed. Beyond that, it will depend on what you need, what you want, and what you’re willing to compromise. Look for any or all of these advanced features:
Password Generator: A password generator is used to generate strong passwords on the fly, which are assigned to a website and username, and then stored in the password manager. A password generator makes it easy to customize the generated password to suit the security requirements of individual websites. Need a password that contains at least 16 characters and numbers, letters, and special characters? A password generator can create one for you.
Forms and Payments Autofill: Some password managers may store address and payment information. This is a handy feature if you do a lot of online shopping or have a lot of shipping involved at home. This address and payment information is securely encrypted until it is needed to automatically fill out a web form, saving you time and providing peace of mind.
Check for weak/reused/compromised passwords: Having a strong password that you use across multiple services is just as bad as a weak password. Even worse is having one that is hacked and posted online. Some password managers will check these to help you eliminate your security holes.
Automatic password changer: Changing passwords frequently is a good security feature. Some password managers will monitor when you change an existing password and give you the option to update the information automatically.
Password sharing: At some point you’ll want to give someone access to one of your passwords, whether it’s for work, a streaming site for your family, or just in case something goes wrong. Some password managers allow you to securely share passwords with other users.
In addition to these must-haves, consider how many devices you can use with a single account, the availability of multi-factor authentication, how many passwords the software can support, and what you can do if you lose your master password. Also, consider finding a password manager that supports unlimited devices and unlimited passwords (They all do at some level, either free or paid.)
How to Create a Strong Master Password
Your master password keeps everything you secure in your management software safe. If someone gets hold of your master password, they have access to all of your passwords, so you’ll want to make sure your master password is virtually hack-proof.
The safest method for creating a good master password is to use a random password generator (a feature all password managers support in this guide.) This takes the burden off your shoulders of coming up with a strong password and can be tailored to your login requirements.
As a rule, a strong master password should:
- Include at least 12 characters. (The longer the better.)
- Include numbers and upper and lower case letters. Doing so makes password cracking more difficult.
- Include at least one special character, such as an exclamation mark or question mark.
How to Create an Awesome Master Password
If you want to create your own password, we understand; You are a free spirit that likes to go your own way. When you create your security credentials, avoid using any of the following options as part of your password. They are easy to guess and in some cases, contain information that can be used to gain access to important personal information as part of it Social engineering attacks:
- your name
- Your pet’s name
- your birthday
- your anniversary
- Your social security number
- Any word found in the dictionary
- Any word where you can replace a letter with a number (a1rplan3for example)
- A simple sequence of numbers eg 11111 or 12345
- Like a sequence of keyboard characters quarty.
Once you have a great password, don’t write it down, save it to a web forum\ or tell anyone what it is—your password is only safe if it’s kept secret. To further lock down your information, consider changing your master password every three to six months. If you suspect a password has been hacked, be sure to change it or any other password. Even if you don’t have evidence of a security breach, it’s better to be safe than sorry.