Password Managers 101

A reader has a simple request:

“Password Managers – what are they, how do they work and which ones are the most secure? I am interested to know how the Kaspersky Internet Security’s Password Manager rates with other password managers. What are the steps to setting up a password manager program? what are the pros and cons of using one? Your input on this subject is greatly appreciated.”

A password manager is an app that allows you to save your passwords in one location and automatically log into online accounts. You only need to remember one master password to access all of your online accounts.

Many password managers will also generate random, “secure” passwords for you. I put “secure” in quotation marks because no password is truly secure. Most hacking is not accomplished by an individual trying to guess your password. More likely it’s a computer program trying thousands of different possibilities or crooks have gotten into the database of passwords for a website or business.

A secure password is like a deadbolt. It’s helpful at keeping intruders out but it’s not necessarily going to withstand a battering ram against the door.

You can choose to go with the password manager built into your browser or select a third-party app. Some of those apps are free while others charge a fee.

As far as which one is the most secure, that’s a tough call. There’s always a possibility that a server could get hacked. Back in 2015, LastPass came under attack. (though they say no encrypted passwords were accessed, other important information like email addresses and password hints were.)

Tomorrow, in part 2 of this series, I’ll cover what you need to look for when selecting a password manager.

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