Are Password Managers Safe?

A laptop opened to a login srceen.

These days, more and more of your information is digital and stored online. Every device, every website, every app needs a password. This is a good thing, but in a world where our brains are on overload, it can be overwhelming. To keep things simple, a lot of people still use the same password for everything, or build a password around things that are easy for them to remember. The problem with this is you’ll be making it easier for hackers to break through your weak security.

How Passwords Get Hacked

The most common way cybercriminals steal your passwords is through phishing. Emails are sent posing as a company you do business with asking to verify your account information. Once you enter that information, they have your login credentials.

But it’s not as easy as ignoring suspicious emails.

Cybercriminals have a lot of time on their hands and they’ll happily spend it guessing your passwords. If you use the same one for all of your accounts, those criminals only need to get it right once and the door will open to countless pieces of your personal information.

Password managers seem like the right solution to keep you from resorting to writing passwords down on sticky notes, using a weak password you can remember, or only using one password for everything, but it’s worth asking if they’re safe themselves.

How Do Password Managers Work?

A password manager is basically a digital vault that stores the login information you use for mobile devices, websites, apps, and other services. It can generate, store, and autofill passwords. A secure password is a long string of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation, and other characters. This password will be difficult to guess.

What are the Benefits of a Password Manager?

A password manager has a few benefits that are hard to ignore. Password management software can create strong, unique passwords for each site, which ensures you aren’t reusing them across sites and devices. If one password gets hacked, that stolen password couldn’t be used elsewhere. Strong, unique passwords can be difficult to remember, which is what typically causes us to reuse passwords, or to create passwords that aren’t strong enough. Password management software takes care of this by only having you remember one master password (or even just a PIN, a fingerprint, or facial recognition).

Should You Invest in Password Management Software?

Many password managers are free, at least for the basic, no frills versions. Free password management software typically will allow you to store passwords on one device. Upgrading to a paid subscription has some clear benefits. You can add a second user, share passwords across devices, and can even get a family plan for multiple user accounts. The costs are relatively low, most between $20 and $30 for the year.

Are Password Managers Safe?

You do need to place some trust in a password manager, since you are trusting them to hold data for your most secure online accounts. They are, however, definitely safer than the alternatives of easy to guess passwords, or writing them down.

When it comes to security, taking a risk with your data is never smart. A password manager is a simple way to ensure that your online presence is as secure as possible. Check out our blog for other tips on keeping your data secure, and if you have questions for us, contact AccuShred today!