Some people still use weak passwords like: “password”, “12345” and “abcdef”. Others use the names of their children, spouses or pets to restrict access to their computers and online accounts like Facebook, Gmail and PayPal. Creating strong passwords is a hard task that can be easily achieved by password managers. These managers have the ability to generate passwords like “J%pE<‘mDL7^Y/kj” and even generate ambiguous answers to security questions that are required to reset accounts in case of password loss.
Why You Need a Password Manager?
Even when you have too many passwords to remember, you might ask, “why should I use password managers when I can create strong passwords using online services like http://passwordsgenerator.net/?” The problem with strong passwords is that they are hard to remember and when using multiple strong passwords across several accounts, you will be faced with the probability of regularly reseting your accounts. Of course they are a main part of your computer security but there are just too many passwords to remember. You may need password managers because in addition to generating strong passwords, password managers have the capability to integrate with Internet browsers to automatically insert your usernames and passwords into the corresponding fields. All that you need to remember will be one password that acts as a master password to access all the other stored passwords.
The other major benefit of password managers is that they give you the capability to use several strong passwords across multiple accounts. This takes care of the fact that most people use one password across multiple platforms. Those that try to differentiate the passwords do so by altering one word in several ways, for example, they might have “july” as the password for their Yahoo email account; “1july” for their Dropbox account; “july!” for their Twitter account and “July” for their Facebook account. Users whose passwords are minor variations of each other expose themselves to the probability of hackers cracking one of their accounts then easily working out the passwords to all their other accounts.
There are many password manager options in the Internet, with some of them offering their services for a chargeable license while others do so for free. We are going to look into some of the password managers that have made their mark due to the superior technology they use and their ease of use, for example 1Password, LastPass and KeePass.
1Password has created a reputation itself as the go to password manager for people who wish to secure their social accounts and online financial accounts. It is made up of two sections: one that is run on a computer and another that is attached to your Internet browser as a plugin that manages the filling of username and password fields.
1Password requires you to remember only the master password, which is used to gain access to the other encrypted passwords. 1Password will help you in generating a strong master password, that you are advised to remember in contrast to writing it down somewhere.
Whenever you start the 1Password password manager, you must provide the master password for you to initiate the service. On successful login, you will be taken to the password manager’s main interface that contains a list of all the services that 1Password manages for you with usernames and passwords.
There are “secure notes” and “wallet” categories, with the latter being the best section to store sensitive banking information like credit card services. To open any of the listed accounts, simply double-click the listing to open it in the default Internet browser. When the browser is started with your selected account, 1Password will automatically login for you.
To change your username or password for a particular account, select it from the listing then choose the Edit option. From there, you can change the username or choose a different strong password. The password field is bordered by a Generate option that will open the 1Password password generator.
The password generator is flexible enough to allow you to generate a random password that ranges between one and fifty characters. Depending on the rules of an online account, you may generate a password that fits into the specified password rule, however, in cases where the password has not been set, you are encouraged to create a password filled with as many characters as possible. The password generator gives you the ability to generate passwords that do not resemble any word but can be remembered by pronunciation, for example: “5GABgb%2/#-q:3~” can be pronounced as “5 GREEN APPLE BESTBUY golf bestbuy % 2 / # – queen : 3 ~”
LastPass password manager is a cloud-based option that works differently to 1Password’s model of a computer application that also contains an Internet plugin. LastPass only contains a browser’s plugin so it is only accessible through the browser. LastPass uses a different approach to that used by 1Password, which maintains a list of its customers’ data in its off-site servers, by only maintaining a list of one-way hashes, while the passwords are encrypted in the customer’s computer or mobile device. LastPass encrypts and decrypts your login details locally in your computer. The advantage of this approach is that you can continue to enjoy the password manager’s services even when LastPass’ servers are inaccessible.
Other Password Managers
Some of the popular free password managers include KeePass and PasswordSafe. KeePass is a Windows based password manager but also contains versions that allow it to run on other platforms like Apple Mac, Android, Linux and BlackBerry. Other popular options include non-free services like Roboform and Kaspersky Password Manager.
If you do not wish to install third-party password managers, you use the inbuilt password management capabilities of Internet browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. You should note however that Google Chrome (as opposed to Mozilla Firefox) does not give you the option to use a master password, therefore any user that gains access to your computer will have easy access to all the stored passwords. The major downside to using password management provided by Internet browsers is that you have to use the same browser in all your devices to enjoy the service.
Manage Your Passwords and Protect Your Computer!
A software program will not upgrade your memory but it will clean out all the junk files, detect Malware, delete unused registry keys, Automatic Driver updates, and more. Having strong passwords and managing will help with your computer security but now days we need more. At the moment I am using PC Matic to maintain and protect my computer. This software is amazing and has won a number of top awards. You can get a free scan for your computer to see how it works before you buy.