When it comes to your security, you don’t just need a password manager — you need a good one. While programs like Chrome Password Manager offer the convenience of being simple, quick and easy to use, they often come with major caveats for your security. Here’s why you should consider paying for a good password manager.
Your memory isn’t infallible
If you’re not already using a password manager, it really is an essential tool.
Sometimes, losing a password can be as simple as forgetting it. While websites will often have a way to recover lost passwords, it can be a difficult and stressful process when you forget what password you used. Some of the passwords you use on a daily basis may have been set more than a year ago (although you should be changing your passwords more often than that). This makes it difficult to remember exactly which password opens what account.
When you’re dealing with such things as bank accounts, work emails or even just a lonely Neopets account, you need a way to remember your password that doesn’t just depend on your memory.
Your memory won’t last as long as your passwords will — and securing them is important. Even if you are currently using a simple password manager, you may need to consider an upgrade.
Browser-based password managers aren’t as secure as you think
Browser add-on password managers are great for convenience, particularly if you only use one browser but there are major issues with relying on them to store your password data.
Firstly, this data is tied to just one browser, so if you’re on a different computer or lose access to that browser, you’ll have difficulty retrieving all your passwords. Depending on mobile functionality, you may also not be able to access this data on your phone.
Another major issue with browser-based password managers is your browser tends to keep you (and your password data) logged in unless instructed otherwise. If you ever forget to log out of your Chrome profile on your home PC or a public computer, there’s a high chance that anyone using your PC will have access to all of your passwords. While they are usually encrypted, a simple button can reveal your password to anyone who has access to your browser’s log-in account.
A good password manager will actively protect your passwords
Rather than simply storing your passwords, a good password manager will also protect them by blocking suspected phishing attempts online and providing additional security. If you use a password manager like 1password, it’ll only fill your password on sites that you trust. But active phishing protection is just one of the robust security features offered by good password managers.
Many also offer website hack alerts if your passwords are in jeopardy, end-to-end encryption that requires secondary authentication and secret keys that add an extra layer of protection for you.
Multi-factor authentication, clipboard management and face ID also feature in good password managers like the high-security Keeper service.
While basic password managers will essentially allow you to keep a list of passwords on hand, good password managers actively provide protection that you’ll need to stay secure online — particularly as reports of hacking and password database breaches increase.
The best password managers of 2020
While good password managers often come with a fee, they are available from as little as $4 a month. Take it from us, a bit of extra password security is worth that price.
Here are the services that we reccommend.
This service has some hardcore security features including biometric login. It costs $4 a month and offers 24/7 support for users.
1Password is great for business or individual use and locks passwords using a master key. It also actively protects passwords via phishing detection, end-to-end encryption and more. It starts from $3.99 a month.
Dashlane is compatible with all devices and browsers, and offers secure biometric log-in. Unlike many other services on this list, it does have a pretty decent free tier — although Premium only costs $5 a month and unlocks a bunch of helpful features.
LastPass also has a limited free tier that lets you access your passwords on all devices via multi-factor authentication and its own LastPass authenticator software. Premium unlocks a bunch of other features and will cost you $4.22 a month.
In an age where your data is at more risk than ever before, keeping your passwords secure is absolutely essential. If you currently rely on the simple convenience of browser-based password managers, it’s time to reconsider how much you value your security online.
Your passwords should be treated like currency. With a good password manager, you can protect them like they deserve.
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