What Is a Password Manager?

  • Do you always click the ‘forgot password’ field on your accounts?
  • Do you have one password that you use across all of your online accounts?
  • Do you feel like a mad scientist trying to figure out a unique, un-guessable password?

If you’ve answered YES to even one of these questions – you need a password manager.

 

Password managers come in two varieties – offline and online. Depending on your needs one may be more suitable than the other or you may opt for both. The number one thing to keep your eyes open for is security – Advanced Encryption Standard is recommended.

More MUST features are – password generators – creating unique, strong passwords for each of your accounts: import/export feature so you don’t find yourself in stuck in vendor lock in; and of course there is compatibility – with all the operating systems on the market, you need to make sure your password manager is compatible.

Most of the time, all this value puts no strain on your pocket – you’d be surprised how many great applications are free.

Offline Password Managers

Offline password managers are desktop applications which are downloaded and installed on your personal computer so your data is accessible only from your computer itself. When you want to log into a website all you have to do is access your password manager and look up what you need.

Offline password managers are not portable by nature so you’ll need an encrypted USB drive to carry your passwords around with you.

Online Password Managers

Online password managers are a new breed – more versatile since they move with you. The important thing to keep in mind with online applications is – do your research and pay careful attention to SECURITY! You want to be sure that your information is never at risk since you are working online… password manager

Remember – the internet is neither safe nor unsafe – it all depends how you use it.

When choosing an online password manager pay extra special attention to:

  • Security – It Can’t Be Stressed Enough

AES Encryption (the ‘top secret’ algorithm of algorithms) is fine when working offline but when online – be sure your password manager is coupling encryption with host-proof hosting.

  • One Time Logins – Don’t Travel Without Them

Opting for online – you can access your passwords from any computer – but sometimes, especially when traveling, extra precaution (against keyloggers) is necessary.

  • Anti-Phishing – Don’t Be Bait

Most password managers do not offer protection against phishing but some do. It’s best to be extra safe.

 

Making Your Choice…

You may not be convinced after such a quick summary, so the best advice is – give them a try! Then choose which one you feel most comfortable with. You may find that since online password managers are newer – they offer more current features such as tags, auto-login, mobile accessibility and secured password sharing. This may help make your decision.

 

 

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