What You Need to Know About Password Managers

Most of us have multiple online accounts: work and personal email, social media, and online banking are only a handful of examples. Remembering a unique password for each one would be difficult, which is why so many people use the same password over and over- even when it puts their information- and even that of their employer- at risk. One Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report estimated that most hacking-related breaches involved stolen passwords and/or weak passwords.

So what’s the solution? How can you set up unique and secure passwords for each account without a super-powered memory? The solution is a password manager.

What is a Password Manager?

A password manager stores and manages your login credentials so you don’t have to remember them all. The strongest password managers store this information in an encrypted database, making it extremely difficult for cybercriminals to access it. 

Equally important, you can create unique and complex passwords for each of your accounts without having to remember them or keep them written down somewhere. Even if a hacker does access one of your passwords, they’re not likely to figure out the rest.

What are the Different Types of Password Password Managers?

There are different password management solutions out there, including locally-installed tools for businesses. For individual users, the most accessible options are cloud-based or browser-based.

Cloud-Based Password Protection

A cloud-based password manager encrypts your sensitive data on its own server or cloud. These services are usually subscription-based, so you pay a monthly fee. Many of them include useful features like password generator tools, multi-factor authentication, and password strength testing, and you can access your stored information from any device.

Browser-Based Password Protection

Password managers are built into most popular web browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. In most browsers, when you visit a new website, you will be prompted to save your password or other sensitive data, such as your credit card number, shipping address, or birthday. This information will be automatically filled in for you when you visit that webpage again. 

While convenient, easy to use, and free, browser-based password managers lack important security features such as password generation or testing. As a precaution, avoid storing passwords for your online banking or credit cards in this type of manager.

Tips for Password Protection

    • Be Careful With ‘Free’ Versions: Typically, the strongest password management tools require recurring payment, such as a subscription fee. While there are plenty of free management tools available, many lack important security features. 
  • Set Up a Strong Master Password: Choosing a solution that requires a master password can significantly increase the security of your data. Make sure your master password is at least 20 characters long and does not include any personal information, such as your birthday or pet’s name, which hackers use as a starting point. 
  • Enable Multi-Factor Authentication: The use of multi-factor authentication is an extra layer of security beyond your master password, as it requires additional credentials for verification.

Hackers are growing increasingly sophisticated but fortunately, so are security solutions. Still, breaches will continue to occur despite your best efforts. At Stolen Asset Recovery Network, we respond to cyber attacks by using equally powerful tech solutions to recover stolen assets. If you’ve been the victim of a cyber heist, contact a member of our network today.

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STARNet, which is short for Stolen Asset Recovery Network, is a global alliance of independent law firms created to provide financial institutions and governments with multi-disciplinary services across countries and jurisdictions for locating, freezing, and ultimately recovering stolen assets related to cyber heists, fraud or corruption.

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