What are Password Management Apps and are they secure?
Password security is a hot topic these days. Making sure that you have a secure one that’s long enough; contains enough capital letters, numbers, special characters and the first chapter of War and Peace, as well as needing to have a completely different password for each and every account. It’s a lot to think about, and you’ll be forgiven if you’ve forgotten your password a time or two. This also means that you’ve probably reused the same password in numerous locations, which is not ideal to say the least.
Now though, there are solutions to this predicament in the form of password management apps.
What are Password management apps?
Password management apps are basically a vault that allows you to store and manage your sensitive information such as usernames and passwords to websites and accounts, credit card details, delivery addresses, insurance details etc. It’s all kept in one place, can be used across all your devices, and most password managers integrate with most web browsers allowing you to auto-fill the information into the websites that you visit (this is great because it means you can have a 32-digit random password for Amazon etc. and never have to type it in!).
You will need to make sure that you remember your master password to your password management app, but this will be the only password you need to remember as the app will remember all your other passwords for you!
If you’re creating a new account or updating an existing password, the password manager will allow you to generate strong, unique passwords and helps to ensure that you won’t be re-using passwords across multiple sites. Some apps will let you pre-set criteria for things like password length, special characters, upper and lower case and numbers.
What apps are there?
There are a few different apps that you can use to sort your passwords.
LastPass seems to be the favourite, and we can see why. Having both a free version and a premium version makes it very accessible. The free version allows you to login from a PC, phone or tablet, supports Multi-Factor-Authentication and gives you access to a password generator. The premium version includes features such as the ability to log into apps on your mobile using credentials stored in your LastPass account, and the Teams account allows you to share credentials with members of your team or family, and easily manage who can see what.
Dashlane, similar to LastPass, is free to use, but only on a single device and also limits you to a max of 50 stored passwords. It does allow emergency access and secure notes with the free version. The premium version offers a lot more, including unlimited password storage and syncing across all devices.
RoboForm is another good example and it also has both a free and premium version. The free version allows for unlimited logins, web form filing, safe notes, strong encryption and password generator, while the paid version adds secure backup and sync emergency support and web access.
There are loads of different password management apps out there that cater to different needs. You won’t go far wrong with any of these 3 but you may have your own preference.
Are they secure?
The infrastructure behind the most popular password management apps tend to be secure. The most vulnerable part is your own master password. For this reason we recommend choosing a password management app which supports additional security features such as 2-Factor-Authentication (which uses a mobile app or biometric such as facial recognition in addition to a password), or location based security (which emails you for authorisation whenever someone tries to log in from a new location).
Using these security features paired with one strong master password makes them pretty secure. Just don’t forget your master password!
Should you use one?
Undoubtedly. The major risks associated with the use of passwords relate directly to human inability to store and recall enough long complex data strings. So, we use short passwords, easy passwords, memorable dates, or names, and we use the same password for many different sites. This makes it easy for us to remember them, but also easy to hack them!
Password managers all but eliminate the need to remember passwords and this allows you to use strong and unique password for each account. By using a password management app you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your passwords are stored securely in one place and easy to use when you need them.
To make sure your passwords remain secure you should also secure your Password Management App with 2-Factor-Authentication.