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What Are Password Managers?

Creating strong, random, and unique passwords for your accounts online is crucial in ensuring your online security and safeguarding your personal information. It’s essential to have strong passwords to protect your accounts and services online. Password Managers help you achieve this by creating unique and complex passwords for each account. Ensure all passwords are, at a minimum, eight characters long (12 or more is best) and include uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters.

Avoid using easy-to-guess passwords, as they can be easily hacked by cybercriminals. Reusing passwords for different accounts is risky, as this makes you more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. A password manager stores your passwords and personal information, including bank accounts and credit card information, in a secure and encrypted environment. With a password manager, you only need to remember your emergency or master password and the manager will handle the rest. Additionally, it can analyze your current passwords and notify you if any are weak or reused, prompting you to change them.

Password managers also make using multi-factor authentication (MFA) easy and securely sharing passwords and sensitive documents with family and friends. They are also helpful when shopping online since you can quickly fill in your credit card information without needing your physical card. Using a password manager is the best way to prevent identity theft, improve online security, and protect your personal information.

Why Do You Need a Password Manager?

Your password manager is a valuable tool for protecting yourself from phishing scams. Even if you unintentionally click on malicious links, your password manager will detect that the URL differs from the legitimate site you intend to visit, regardless of how similar it may look.

Don’t worry about keeping sensitive information in one place, as top password managers use a zero-knowledge approach to securing your passwords and other data. This means that everything is encrypted before leaving your device, and even the password manager cannot access your information. With this level of security, you can trust that your data is safe.

For example, researchers at Cornell University recently created a report on how AI over smartphones and Zoom could reveal passwords with 93% accuracy. Using a password manager limits the times a password must be manually typed.

Next Steps to Take to Setup a Password Manager

First, you’ll need to choose a password manager and set up an account. Some top password managers are 1Password, Bitwarden, and WordPress. CNET lists these as the top password managers. Regarding password managers, some offer a free option with basic features. In contrast, others require an annual fee of $35 to $60 for a premium plan that includes access across multiple devices, expanded file storage, and family sharing.

 As you set up your account, you’ll need to create a master password that is easy for you to remember yet still strong enough that it can’t be easily guessed. Avoid using existing passwords from other sites as your master password. Some password managers, such as 1Password, offer an emergency kit with your username and digital key, with a master password. It’s okay to write down your password; just make sure to keep it secure.

It’s essential to keep your master password safe and not lose your emergency kit because if you do, most password managers won’t be able to help you recover it.

After creating your account and master password, you can download the software onto your devices. During account setup, you’ll likely be prompted to download an app for the systems you’ll use the password manager on, such as Windows, browsers, Mac, Android, and iOS. Additionally, you can find download links for other devices on your password manager’s website. If your password manager has a browser extension, it’s recommended to install it so your passwords can be auto-filled easily.

Once you’ve downloaded the software, you can add your passwords to the password manager. Most password managers will allow the import of passwords from various locations like your browser, spreadsheet, or another password manager. If you prefer, you can also input your passwords manually.

 After loading your passwords into your password manager, it will automatically fill in your login information as you visit different websites and services. Additionally, it can save new, secure login credentials on new accounts you create, ultimately improving your online security.