A password manager is a software application or a hardware device used to store and manage a person’s passwords and strong passwords. Typically all stored passwords are encrypted, requiring the user to create a master password to access all the stored, managed passwords.
Top Password Management Vendors
Dashlane is a password management tool that can perform both basic and advanced tasks depending on your needs. It creates, saves, and autofills strong, randomized passwords for all accounts, so you’ll never have to remember or worry about your passwords. Dashlane is designed so that they can’t see the information users store in it, meaning your data will never be sold. A VPN is included to scan your account for weak and compromised passwords. A free version of Dashlane is available, and plans that are priced annually are available for individuals, families, and businesses.
NordPass allows you to store all your passwords in a single place and log in to your most-used websites and apps with a single click. Even when you’re offline, your login credentials can still be accessed. Passwords can be shared with people you trust through an encrypted vault. NordPass syncs all passwords across all devices, and there is no limit on the amount of passwords you can store. It comes with a built-in password generator, and sensitive notes and credit card information can also be stored. The application has a free version in addition to premium and family premium versions.
How to Use a Password Manager
Today, people have a large number of passwords for social media sites, work logins, shopping pages, online banking and much more. While it is important to use strong passwords and to use different passwords on each site, it can be a difficult task to remember all them. With a password manager, you simply enter the site, provide the master password you set for the password manager in that software, then log in to the site and the username and password will be stored for you.
Using a password manager can also help you to create more secure passwords as it will create randomly generated passwords if you create new online accounts using the manager. Often, with a master password you can sync accounts across platforms as well.
Managing Passwords in a Web Browser
Most web browsers today, like Chrome, Firefox and Explorer have an integrated password manager, but they do not encrypt the passwords, so anyone with access to your computer can view your online passwords quite easily. Some options exist, like on Firefox, to encrypt passwords and use a master password to retrieve. While this makes the password manager more secure, browser-saved passwords typically will not work across platforms and the password managers lack features, including the ability to generate random passwords for new accounts.
Image Description: Setting up the Password Manager in Firefox
Hardware Password Managers
Many devices work in a similar fashion to software password managers. You first install a software app on your PC and connect the password manager using a USB port on the computer. When login pages are detected users are prompted to save the logins to the password device. All usernames, password and other required login information is stored encrypted, often on a protected smart card.
The app for the device can be customized to manage logins, information and to import or export credentials from various locations, including cloud storage.