What is the working principle of password managers?
Many people don’t like to create passwords or register accounts. This could be why people reuse passwords multiple times when creating accounts. It solves the problem of registration but it leaves you vulnerable to hackers.
It’s 2022 and there are options. Password managers could be one of these solutions. You could use them to create complex passwords, and then store them. This is how password managers work, and how to use them to keep yourself safe online.
How do you create a strong password
What does a password manager look like?
A password manager allows you to store and generate all of your passwords in one place. Many password managers allow you to store credit card information and secure notes. Password managers can also use biometric data (fingerprint, face) to increase security and ease of use. You can share certain information with family and friends by copying it into an email, instant message or other medium.
The Best Password Managers in
Instead of having to remember all your login information for every site, you only need to remember one master pass when using a password manager. You’ll be able to connect to all of your accounts quickly thanks to the autosave or autofill features.
How do password managers secure your passwords?
There are many ways to categorize password managers. We will only present three technologies this time and explain their workings. Several providers offer multiple ways to save your data. Many of these providers will require that you use a master password to protect your vault.
These are the three types of password managers .
- Password managers can be installed locally or offline
- Online or web-based password management services
- Password managers that are token-based or stateless
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Password managers can be installed locally or offline
Locally installed password managers (also known as offline password managers, save your data on your device. It could be your smartphone or your computer, depending on which preference you have. Your passwords will be stored in an encrypted file separate from the password manager. Many password managers allow you to store each password separately, which greatly increases security.
To access your offline vault, you will need a master password. It’s unlikely that hackers or the government will hack into your local database if it’s strong. Because brute-forcing military grade encryption takes a lot of time, it’s not possible to do so quickly. You can’t access the device without stealing it if you keep all passwords off it.
Offline password managers are not without their flaws. Using them on multiple devices may prove difficult. The vault is only available in one location. All other devices must sync with it. This usually means that your device must have the online password manager installed so that it is accessible to third parties. If your offline password manager fails, you will need to do some manual labor.
Your passwords will be stored locally if you have an offline password manager. It’s the device you have chosen to store your vault passwords. There is an option to sync passwords across multiple devices. However, all passwords must be accessible online. You can also save your passwords in different files. Each file will require a unique key.
- Reduces the chance that someone might breach your password vault
- It’s usually a free service
- Only one device is required to access your vault
- If you lose your device, you lose your vault
- Online or web-based password management services
The most popular type of web-based password manager, stores your passwords on a cloud, which is often the provider’s server. This setup allows you to access your passwords anywhere, anytime. Accessing your vault through a web app is not an option. You will only need a browser extension, or a mobile application.
How can you know if your passwords aren’t accessible by the provider? All reputable online password managers use zero knowledge technology. This means they encrypt all data on your device and send it to the server. This means that third-party access to your vault can be attempted 24/7. Furthermore, if your device is infected with keylogger malware, security measures are useless unless you use two-factor authentication.
You should expect that you will have to pay for a web-based password management . While there are many great free options, premium features such as dark web scanning or device limit will always be available. However, most paid online password management software will not cause you to lose your bank account, particularly if you are committing long-term.
You probably used the online password manager. Your passwords are stored online in this instance. Your vault is stored on the provider’s server and accessible 24/7 from anywhere, as long as the master password is available. The password manager client is not required. Most of the time, you can access the vault via a browser extension. Sometimes, you can access the vault through a web application on the provider’s site.
Password managers that are token-based or stateless
Token-based password managers, or stateless password management systems, are last on the list. A local piece or hardware such as a flash USB drive, can contain a key that unlocks your account. A password vault is not possible because the password manager generates new passwords every time you log into. We recommend that you use both the token and your master password to increase security. You’ll implement two-factor authentication by doing this.
Because there is no database, stateless password managers do not require synchronization among your devices. This is also safer as hackers can’t find your passwords. However, token-based passwords can be hacked if the master password is known and only on account.
These are often free and open-source, contrary to online password managers. They are therefore not recommended for novice users as they lack the ability to access forums and knowledge bases. To generate tokens, you’ll need a smartcard reader or a USB stick.
If you have a token based password manager (also called a stateless password manager), it means that your passwords are stored everywhere! How is that possible? As the name suggests, there is no password vault. Instead, token generation occurs whenever an account is accessed. You can create a token using an external device such as a USB stick.
How do password managers encrypt passwords?
The military-grade 256-bit encryption is used to encrypt or decrypt data so that only authorized parties have access. It was adopted by the NSA and other major corporations in 2005 and quickly became a standard for Virtual Private Networks and firewalls as well as password managers.
AES is the encryption key, but 256-bit is what is actually used. Encryption keys can be described as random strings of ones and zeroes. This means that there are 2256 combinations. It is more difficult to find the right combination when there are so many.
AES256-bit is also known as a symmetric, or private key encryption algorithm. Both the key and its decryption are used for encryption. Therefore, both parties need to know it. Asymmetric, or public-key encryption, however, uses a public key to encrypt and a private one for decryption. The private key does not have to be stored on your device, which increases security.
AES256 encryption is not used by all password managers. Some password managers use the less secure, but still very difficult to brute force AES-256 encryption. These password managers are usually free and open-source, with less frequent updates.
However, it has better encryption than AES 256 bit. It goes by the name XChaCha2. This next-generation cipher has been implemented by NordPass, the only premium password manager. It includes Argon2 for key derivation, while XChaCha2 encrypts the password vault.
Why should you use a password manager
- Password generators. It doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to think about the details that you would like to use to create a password. You can generate a secure password using several password managers. This saves you time and allows you to come up with more secure passwords.
- This makes it easier. Password managers aren’t just one of the most secure ways to store passwords. You can manage all of your logins with one reliable password manager software. This is a lifesaver for anyone who uses many websites and platforms.
- Stop typing. Many password managers include a feature that allows you auto-fill passwords or other recurring information. This feature also extends to address and payment information. You don’t have to remember all your passwords.
- Secure password sharing. Many people share their accounts with family and friends. Netflix allows multiple users to log in with the same password. It’s not the best way to share them. This is asking for trouble. This password manager allows users to share passwords easily with other users.
- Cross-platform support. Password managers, which are applications, are easy to use and don’t require a lot. This makes it easier to create them for different platforms, such as web browsers and smartphone apps. This means that you can access the same password vault regardless of how you connect.
- Multi Factor authentication. Even though a hacker could install a keylogger to get your master password, it wouldn’t be the end of the universe if you have two factor authentication enabled. You would be safe and your vault would remain locked without the password.
- Setup a password manager
It all depends on the type of password manager that you plan to use. First, you must decide which device you will use to generate your keys if it is token-based. If you have chosen an offline password manager, then you must also select the primary device that will hold your data. If you are leaning towards an internet service, it is a good idea to narrow down your options to either a paid or free option.
Setup a 7-step password manager
We’ll use the web-based password manager as an example, since they are the most user-friendly. Here are the steps to set up a password management system.
- Choose which devices you would like to use your password manager. Do you plan to use it on your phone? Is your access code known by anyone else? What about sharing home devices like tablets and smart TVs. What about the password manager for work computers? These are the most important questions you should ask before setting up your vault.
- Download your preferred password manager. There are many paid and free versions, but we recommend only using the best password managers. Check out the features available in the paid version and whether they are worth the extra cost. After that, ensure it is compatible with your OS and browser. Check if your vault can be imported before you start importing. Finally, it’s worth paying more for 24/7 customer service.
- Create a master password. You should choose a password that is both memorable and difficult to guess, even if the password manager you have chosen allows master password recovery. It may be possible to satisfy the last requirement by using 4-5 randomly selected words for your passphrase. Even though it may sound strange, you should share your master password with the person who you most trust so that they can access your vault in the event of an emergency.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Your password security will be greatly improved by adding 2FA to your mix. The second factor could be “something you have”, which is likely to be your smartphone. However, we recommend that you choose “something you are” and use biometrics. It can be a fingerprint, or a face scan depending on the device. You can also use 2FA to replace a master password. This greatly improves the usability of touchscreen devices.
- Start entering passwords. You may need to start entering passwords before you become comfortable with your password manager. It is a good idea to create a strong password for your email account that will be used for recovering the master password. A hacker could easily gain access to your database by breaking into your mailbox.
- Add other data. Most password managers allow you to save logins as well as credit card details and private notes. It can be very time-saving to have the payment information in autofill if you do a lot of online shopping. There is no better place than autofill to store the information you don’t want to share with anyone but your closest friends.
- Share your logins. Someone will eventually ask for your Netflix login. It’s not a good idea to copy-paste the username and password. Your password manager will allow you to share logins with other people (or at least some of them). Some services allow you to create folders that store passwords that are less sensitive and more commonly shared.
Are password managers compatible with multiple phones and devices?
Not all password managers can be used on multiple devices. This includes smartphones. A stateless password manager works on the assumption that one device can generate passwords to your accounts. A password vault is not something you can check, and there is no stateless password manager.
A lot of devices can’t use local password managers. This is because your password manager is saved on one device, so syncing between devices is possible but not easy. If you choose to use multi-factor authentication you will likely need two compatible devices.
Web-based password management tools work on multiple devices and mobile apps. They can even be used as browser extensions. Many also provide web apps that can be accessed from the provider’s site. The cloud stores your vault, which means that password managers can be used on any device. The scope of your service will determine the extent.
What are the downsides to a password manager?
A password manager has one major drawback. A hacker could gain access to all your accounts if he manages to break into your vault. You should be secure if your vault has reliable encryption and allows multiple factors to allow entry.
Are password managers compatible with multiple devices?
Yes. Most password managers are cross-platform and can be used on many operating systems. This means you can access your most valuable credentials from wherever you are, regardless of what device you are currently using. You can access your most important credentials on the go, even if you use an iPhone as a smartphone and Windows as a computer.
How do password managers store passwords?
Password managers protect your credentials and keep them in encrypted form. This ensures that hackers would not be able to access encrypted data without your master password, even in the event of a major data breach.
- Passwords that contain should have a lot of characters.
- Combination of lowercase and higher case letters, along with symbols and numbers.
- Do not use common passwords, choose something completely unexpected.
- Use NordPass to create the most secure passwords.