Why should you use a password manager?
Using a password manager might look redundant at the first glance, but if you dig deeper into it, you will see that the things are not as simple as they might seem. There is a number of challenges every person faces online, and most of these issues can cause significant problems.
First of all, personal accounts on various websites often hold sensitive data, from the personal information to the business-related data that are strictly confidential. Protecting those with passwords that are not strong enough is far from an ideal solution.
The second issue is that remembering a high volume of passwords that are strong enough is simply impossible for most of the people. Writing them down either in electronic form or on a paper is not the most secure of options. Hackers can hack into your computer and steal those data, and the paper can accidentally fall into the wrong hands or get lost or misplaced.
In any of these scenarios the end result is the same – your confidential data get exposed and that could have far-reaching consequences.
Finally, typing in passwords each time you log into any website or software is time-consuming and utterly inefficient!
This is where the passwords managers come into action and show their entire potential! Your data will be completely secure and almost impossible to hack, and you will have to remember only one master password. The rest will be done automatically by the password manager itself!
How does it work?
Every password manager has the same principle behind it – a unified platform for data security. This software remembers all your passwords and the websites they are used for and uses them automatically to log in. Some of the advanced options in this segment also provide the password strength estimates and alert you when these are too weak and easy to crack.
In order to make everything secure, all these passwords are locked under a single master password for the manager itself! The tricky part is that although the user can determine the master password in the beginning, it does not get stored anywhere! That is why it is so important to remember it. In order to access any of the passwords within the manager, you will need that master password, and if you are the only man alive to know it, your data are absolutely secure!
Most of the password managers also include password generators. These generators create generic passwords that are very advanced and near impossible to crack and in that way you can increase the security of your accounts to an entirely different level!
Types of password managers
As it is the case with any software, the password managers also target specific groups in the market, so there are different approaches to the issue. Some of those are focusing on individual users, while the others are more oriented to the businesses. There are some that are specialized in certain operating systems and browsers, and then there are those that took the holistic approach and target wide. The variations on this theme are almost endless.
The issue for you as a user is to define what you need your password manager for. Individual users who need it on a single device can easily cover their needs with a free version of some of these managers. If you wish to interconnect several devices, you will need a premium plan with some of the cloud-based solutions. If you wish to protect the accounts of your family members, you will need some of the extended personal and family plans. If you run a business, you will need the password manager that is specially designed for employee password management and multiple users. The options for any of the aforementioned cases are available!
There is also a difference between the approaches to backups between the password managers as well. While some use the encrypted backup that is saved on USB flash, there are also the cloud-based options that do it online.
The cost of a password manager
All the differences we mentioned cause the difference in pricing for the password managers you might consider using. The price depends on several factors such as the number of users, purpose, and the vendor’s billing policy. Generally, the price can be as low as $20 a year in some cases to several hundreds of dollars in other cases.
Personal users will find it to be quite affordable as the investment required really is not too high, while the businesses will have to invest a bit more money, but they will again get a great value for their money when everything is broken down.
The real problem is to define your needs and to choose the option that is the best buy for the features you will require. There is no need for overkills and buying password managers that have advanced features you’ll never use. Also, there is little sense in buying something cheap if it won’t meet your needs. If you keep this in mind, you will be able to find the perfect solution.