How to keep your Passwords Safe?

Joyce Esser
4 min readMar 30, 2021
Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash

How to keep your passwords safe? That is a very often asked question for many people. How do you reduce the risk that your password will be stolen? Nowadays, we have so many passwords for so many sites and applications. The fault that many people make is the same password for their online accounts. But we can’t remember so many different passwords, right? No, but there is a solution to this problem; a password manager.

What is the problem with the same passwords?

Well, there are many reasons why you don’t want to use the same password. Using the same password is the same as having the same key for every door you use. If someone steals your key, they can basically go through every door you use. So if you have the same password, let’s say your email account, a social media account, and a bank account. What happened if the social media vendor has a data breach? A bad guy can have your password now, and maybe he tries to login into your mail account. With that given, he can manipulate everything you use; he can reset other passwords, etc…

What is a password manager?

A password manager is a digital safe where you store all your passwords, usernames, and secret codes. You don’t need to remember many passwords anymore; you only need to remember the safe password. The password managers also have some additional features like password generation and automatic form filling. To use a password manager, you can use strong and unique passwords for every online account. With the feature of password generation, you can generate a very strong password with letters (uppercase & lowercase), numbers, and special characters. This ensures that a password cannot be cracked. Doesn’t it sound nice?

Why don’t just use Browser-Based Password managers?

But you can do that with Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers, right? Why would I use a password manager then? Yes, that is right, web browsers have a built-in password manager, but you can best use an external password manager. First of all, the browser-based password manager isn’t cross-platform. Cross-platform means that you can use the password manager on different types of devices with various software packages.
You also have more features on a dedicated password manager, like generating a password, use a VPN for a secure connection when you login into a public Wi-Fi network, and many other features.

Another reason is that a dedicated password manager is more secure; with a password manager, you have your master password, and it is often coupled with two-factor authentication. A browser-based password manager doesn’t have that.

And if you use a browser-based password manager, it is coupled to your account. When someone has your credit for your browser account, they can access your password manager and see all your passwords.

What about the safety of a password manager?

The passwords are indeed stored in the Password Manager’s cloud, but they use powerful encryption (AES-256). The military also uses this encryption because of the strength. AES-256 encryption is one of the strongest encryptions in the world! You can’t brute-force the encryption and that makes it very strong. (source: https://scrambox.com/article/brute-force-aes/). You also have offline password managers or an offline feature for the password manager. It depends on what you prefer and what you want.

The company of the password managers can’t see your passwords or data. They using a zero-knowledge architecture; your passwords, usernames, are encrypted before they leave your device. So nobody can see your data.

The other security of a password manager is that they have multiple features for your password. They will remind you to change the passwords, and they evaluate the strength of it. They also know when a data breach uses your password.

The riskiest part of the security is your master password. Make sure you have a strong password, and make sure you remember your password. Don’t use passwords with the names of your animals or kids; they are easily guessable.

Here is a list of how to create a strong and secure password:

· uppercase and lowercase letters

· numbers

· special symbols, such as ./@#!%():

· at least 12 characters long

· doesn’t contain memorable keyboard paths

· doesn’t have your personal information

· unique for each account you have

(source: https://cybernews.com/best-password-managers/how-to-create-a-strong-password/)

Conclusion: The use of a password manager is a safe manner to store your passwords. You have to think about a strong master password.

Common Password Managers

There are many password managers in the wild. How to choose a good password manager? I’ve made a list of the popular password managers and their costs:

Bitwarden

Costs per year: $ 10

LastPass

Costs per year: $ 36

1Password

Costs per year: $ 36

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