In the era of the information boom, many users are wary of installing additional software on a computer or phone. The number of programs that seem safe at first glance, but contain elements of malicious code or spyware (spyware) is constantly growing.
But even if you try to run new installation files on your gadget as infrequently as possible, a good password manager is a necessary investment in the security of your device, especially if you are online almost daily.
The best representatives of this category of programs occupy a minimum of disk space, do not slow down other processes and are completely harmless, but the benefits of them are obvious.
What is a password manager for?
Remember how many times you had to enter passwords for all the time you actively used the World Wide Web. Accounts in social networks, e-mail, various thematic forums and communities – everywhere the user is persistently required to come up with a unique combination of letters in different case, symbols and numbers, which will become an obstacle for hackers when they try to gain access to your personal data.
The worst thing that can be done in this case is to write down the selected combination in Word or even a paper notepad and enter it on every site where registration is required. Be sure: sooner or later, attackers will figure out this combination, even if it contains 15 characters and seems very creative to you.
But coming up with dozens or even hundreds of strong passwords, and even remembering them, is a task from the realm of fantasy. A password file or leaflet can be easily destroyed – either by accident or with criminal intent.
And here the password manager will come to the rescue , for which the most important selection criterion is reliability. After all, this program, which operates quietly on a PC or smartphone, is actually the key to your virtual life: without a password, you will not be able to log into your Facebook or Instagram profile, check your mail, exchange opinions at your favorite film forum or access online banking.
Choosing the best password manager: what to look for
If you have never used such software, we advise you to first read the opinions of Internet users: for example, reviews of Dashlane – a popular password manager that I personally use – and other similar programs clearly demonstrate the benefits of installing them.
The following characteristics are considered the most important criteria when choosing a password manager:
- Ability to generate complex non-trivial passwords from 10 to 20 characters. Among software manufacturers, it is considered good practice to add not only letters and numbers to passwords, but also special characters such as quotation marks, left and right slashes, brackets, pluses and minuses, square brackets, and so on. Calculating such a combination will be difficult even for an experienced hacker.
- Automatic entry of passwords. For a business person or a constantly busy freelancer, this option will be a real salvation.
- Two-factor authentication (one of the types of multi-factor authentication). In order to access the password manager, you need to enter not only the main password, but also an additional security code sent when you try to enter the application on your phone.
- Password synchronization. Access to the necessary information is provided without problems, even if you use different browsers or switch from one platform (iOS, Windows, Android) to another.
- Strong encryption system comparable to banking standards. This will protect all passwords from unauthorized use by intruders and “leakage” of personal data on the Internet.
- Confidentiality. The developers of the program itself do not have direct access to your passwords and cannot pass them on to interested third parties.
- Password hint encryption. Now, even if the password is lost, only the owner of the device has the right to answer the “secret question” to restore it.
- Access notes for passwords from any device. Forgot your bank account password but are currently away from home? It doesn’t matter, your favorite Android smartphone will become a real lifesaver and will allow you to access the banking application anywhere in the city.
- Simplified search. To find the password you need faster, just add a label to it – for example, “facebook”, “mail” or “bank”.
Advanced password manager options for advanced users
Some password managers come with special features that will delight fans of security technology.
Additional options include the following features:
- Identification by Touch and Face ID. You can access your passwords on your phone with just a touch of your finger or by turning on a special facial recognition program.
- Additional password verification. The program will analyze existing passwords and notify you if there are weak or duplicate passwords.
- Checking the security of Internet resources . The password manager will notify you that the site you are about to register with is on the list of potentially threatening your computer.
- Checking accounts. If your account on any Internet service was hacked and your data fell into the wrong hands, a notification will appear in the corresponding field, which displays the security status. Also, the program is able to automatically generate and remember a new strong password.
- Storage of additional information. These can be bank card numbers, ways to access the necessary documents.
- Built-in VPN. The option will come in handy if you use an unsecured Internet connection to access the Network.
Each password manager is unique in its own way: interface, feature set, encryption secrets. Try to use such programs to protect personal data – and you will be surprised how much safer and easier your surfing the Internet will be.
To ensure security and privacy, the user must choose a suitable application for storing passwords. The password manager will allow you to securely log into your accounts on the Internet, without the need to remember or write down passwords for logging in to each resource.