Are Password Managers Safe To Use?

August 29, 2019

Struggling to remember all of your passwords for each of your different accounts? You should try a password manager, right? With an industry-leader recently falling victim of feared hackers, concern for the safety of these apps rose. But are they safe to use?

Why would you use a password manager?

It’s not unknown for one single person to have over 25 different password-protected accounts, all reliant on memory or cookies on your computer. In fact, for over half of us, this is the case. How is one supposed to remember all of these? Which goes with which? Your sensible solution is a password manager that stores all of your login details so that you never have to forget or reset another password. The good ones will also be able to suggest the most secure passwords tailored to you, to ensure the best protection.

All of this sounds great on paper… until you remember that this application has access to every single one of your login details. For every account you’ve made. Ever. Worried yet?

Are password managers safe to use?

Surprisingly enough, you shouldn’t really be worried. Research shows that you’re actually a lot more secure using a password manager than not using one. Thanks to secure encryption, leading applications such as 1Password or Dashlane can be trusted to keep your passwords secret.

How do they work?

  1. You create an account with your chosen supplier.
  2. You then create a single “master password” that allows you to log in to your account, much the same as any other service. You should bare in mind that this password should be different to your others and much more secure, as after all, if someone was to guess your details for this account, they would have access to them all. Come up with something unique and memorable that includes several varieties including capital letters, numbers and special characters.
  3. Then the password manager gets to work. It will start mechanically generating more elaborate, unique passwords for every service that you log into. These don’t have to be memorised as the app will automatically apply each password, but only after you enable this with that single master password you created to begin with.

This practice actually makes it a lot more secure than your regular habit of re-purposing of the same password for every service, which is one of the biggest threats to your cybersecurity that’s out there.

So why is there such a concern surrounding using a password manager? This is largely down to the knowledge that your private data is being handled by a third party. This is why we strongly recommend only the usage of a trustworthy, respected provider.

Our top recommended password manager

You should opt for a paid application if you want to ensure you’re handing your private information over to a third party you can trust. Free password managers tend to entail restrictions and are riddled with advertisements.

After a series of trial and testing, 1Password was found the most secure password manager. It welcomes accommodating features such as a local storage option, two-factor authentication, a failsafe function and the highest overall performance. This will only cost you around £30 a year, with discounts available, so value for money is there too.

1Password dashboard, showing a list of applications and their saves passwords along with a rating for how secure the password is.

What’s the verdict – should you use a password manager?

We really cannot stress enough that utilising a password manager is truly a safe way to store and protect all of your online logins, much, much safer than traditionally remembering the same password you’ve had for years. By doing this, you’re opening the door to hackers and practically giving them the key. Of course, no system is bullet-proof, but for your own peace of mind and security, we’d strongly recommend.