Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably know these three things already: online security is imperative, you must have strong unique passwords for each of your accounts, and that you have to frequently alter those regularly for security reasons. However, this knowledge doesn’t make it easier to keep track of all the passwords you use on all your accounts.
Are you one of those who rely solely on memory to store passwords? Or one of those who keep passwords in an unsecured file to copy paste when needed? Have you ever thought of an alternative? If yes, then you definitely need password managers.
What is a password manager?
A password manager is software that helps a user to manage login credentials such as usernames and passwords, and other vital information used to access an online account. A good password manager helps to store info securely while not compromising safety.
What are main reasons for using a password manager?
Let’s face it unless one has some sort of system that helps to remember things, our memories aren’t that reliable. To me, there are 3 main reasons for using a password manager.
- With password managers, you have the freedom from having to remember your login credentials.
- Strong passwords have a minimum of 8 characters and should have numbers, lower and uppercase letters, and special characters. I even have a hard time remembering my cell phone number what more a strong password. A good password manager will generate strong unique passwords for you with those criteria.
- Once you’ve saved the login credentials, password managers fill and even log you on the moment you come back to the website where you have an account. This means less time wasted remembering then typing them in especially if your work involves having to login into various online accounts.
Now it’s time to give some recommendations. Here are two examples of password managers from the open source world.
This is one of the oldest but still gold tools still in use. Aside from being open source it is a cross-platform and lightweight password management application that stores your usernames, passwords and different login info in a very secure way.
Some features are:
Auto fill: You don’t have to search for a certain login credential as the application auto fills the login form for you. This keeps it secure from key loggers.
Password generator: creating strong passwords on the fly is easier.
Portable media access: Runs on any platform and there’s no need to install it to be able to use it.
Two-factor authentication: Allows the user to either unlock the password database using a master password or by a key from a portable drive.
Clipperz has a unique approach to password management, which they call a “zero knowledge” net application.
Great features are:
Direct login: Automatically logs into any website you’ve saved in the database, with only 1 click.
No installation: Being a Web-based application, no installation is needed just a compatible browser.
Data import: You can import login data from any password management software it supports.