Password Managers are an essential form of security for all remote workers in 2020.
How many pages do you visit every day, asking you to create a user name and password? The list is endless.
If you're here reading this page, then you are probably in a similar position to me and can't remember one password, let alone a dozen or more.
With over 2,000 cyber-attacks every day, this simple way of managing your passwords can protect your personal information from cybercriminals.
A password manager will take the risk out of coming up with unique, strong passwords for every website you visit, making password managers something you need if you are going to work at home and are using your birth date as your password.
What Are Password Managers?
Password managers are a convenient way of managing your passwords. In simple terms, they protect passwords by using one password.
They are an effective way of keeping all your login details safe. Depending on which password manager you decide to use, they can also:
- Assess how strong your password is
- Set up multi-factor authentication, which allows you to add additional steps to the login process.
- Automatically log you into websites
- Notify you if someone has successfully used your login details
- Generate new passwords - if you are having difficulty picking a password, then the password manager will generate a strong password and ensure you aren't using it across any other sites.
- Provide security reports
Why Do I Need A Password Manager?
You really need to consider a password manager if you:
- Have one password for every site you visit.
- A file on your computer detailing all your passwords.
- Your passwords are on your phone or tablet.
Please don't store your passwords on your phone, tablet or computer! If your device is stolen, you will be giving cybercriminals easy access to all your accounts.
Password managers allow you to list the passwords for every site you access and keep track of the details, so you don't have to keep that list on your computer or phone.
If a cybercriminal manages to access your desktop, they will not be able to access your information without your master keyword to the password manager.
How Do Password Managers Keep Your Information Safe?
When you sign up for a password manager account, you will need to think of a master password.
This password will become the only way you can access your passwords so you'll need to keep it safe and not share it with anyone.
The password manager will not store the password you decide upon. So, you will need to remember it for security reasons.
The password manager keeps your information safe in the following ways:
The password manager stores your encrypted data using AES-256 bit encryption. They convert your passwords into random letters, numbers and symbols using this security tool.
If a hacker accesses your password manager account, they will only gain access to meaningless information.
To decrypt the information, you must use the master password.
Password Manager Storage Options
When choosing which password manager is for you, you will need to decide if you would like to store your login details and passwords locally or in the cloud.
Storing Your Passwords In The Cloud
Cloud-based password managers are a convenient way to store your passwords. You can save your passwords from any device using the software provided.
The password manager allows you to access your passwords easily, and there is less chance of you losing your data in your hard drive.
You may be wondering ' is it safe to store passwords in the cloud'.
Cloud-based password managers are arguably less secure. They use data protection policies and industry-standard encryption to keep passwords safe. However, some password managers rely on third-party servers to store the data, which could make them an easier target for hackers.
If the company ceases to trade or their servers fail, you may find yourself losing all your data.
Storing Your Passwords Locally
Locally stored password managers store your passwords on your hard drive.
This gives you the user, complete control over your information. Hackers will not be able to access your data from a server easily; they have to target each person individually. The risk of having your data hacked will be significantly reduced.
There are a few downsides to storing your passwords locally. You will not have instant access to your passwords if you are working away from your hard-drive. You will need to sync the information manually.
If your hard drive fails, there is the possibility that you will lose all your password information.
How Much Do Password Managers Cost?
The price of password managers varies depending on what type of manager you wish to use.
There are several options available to you:
Free Password Managers
Most free options use the same open-source encryption tools as a paid option. Enthusiasts mainly build them so you may not receive support should a problem occur. Depending on what you need the manager for, they could be a perfect option to keep your information safe.
Paid Password Managers
If you choose to receive ongoing support and updates, then you really should pay for a password manager subscription.
Most subscriptions cost between $20 and $100 per year and provide you access to cloud password management.
You can also pay a lifetime fee for some password managers, which means you pay a one-off fee for their services.
Are my existing passwords secure?
We all know people who use the following passwords:
- Your child's name
- Your date of birth.
All of these passwords are simple for hackers to guess. Serious cybercriminals could crack these passwords in a few moments, leaving you open to fraud.
Password managers randomly generate passwords using a click of a button. The passwords they generate could take cybercriminals years to hack:
These passwords mean your information is safe and secure. This is where password managers make your life easier; not many people could remember one of these passwords, let along a dozen or more.
Are There Any Free Password Managers?
There are many free password manager options for you to consider.
The free version of LastPass is fantastic and is one of the best free password managers available.
LastPass allows you to store passwords, login information and best of all sync it across all of your devices.
Offering a free service to manage your login information, Bitwarden uses open-source encryption software to generate, store and automatically fill your passwords across your devices.
The free version of Dashlane provides a secure way to manage your passwords, Dashlane limits you to one device and 50 passwords if you sign up for the free option.
Providing unlimited passwords on one device Keeper's free password store option is worth considering.
The Best Password Managers (2020)
To produce this list of the best password managers, we have reviewed numerous third-party reviews and used opinions from online security experts.
I have analysed security, the features offered, customer support and value for money for each password manager.
(Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)
Dashlane is a great password manager, with many advanced features making it the best option on the market in 2020.
- Two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Dashlane Monitor the Dark Web - You w notified immediately if your data is stolen
- No-logs Policy - Dashlane does not store browsing history
- The Password Changer can change hundreds of passwords with a single click
If you use a single device and require less than 50 passwords, Dashlane's free version is for you.
For $60 per year, you can upgrade to the premium version. This allows you unlimited passwords and synced devices. A VPN option is also included, in addition to personalised alerts if any of your stored data is stolen.
The premium plus version of Dashlane costs $120 per year. It includes identity theft insurance and credit monitoring in addition to the features available on the free and premium plans.
(Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome)
LastPass provides 1GB of secure data storage, multiple shared accounts and tech support to their premium, families and business customers.
- Multi-factor Authentication - The paid plan also includes advanced MFA options
- You will receive 1GB of storage in the premium option.
- They store all data, including credit card details and delivery address. LastPass enter these details automatically when shopping online.
The free version is one of the best available; you can sign up for unlimited passwords which can be synced across your devices.
The option provides you with a security challenge feature, which monitors password strength.
LastPass Premium will cost you $36 a year for a single user, or $48 a year for a family plan.
You will receive 1GB of encrypted file storage, priority tech support, advanced two-factor authentication options, emergency access and one-to-many sharing.
The Family plan includes unlimited shared folders as well.
Keeper password manager offers only a paid option for securing your passwords.
It provides customers with excellent features, including:
- Dark Web Protection
- Secure cloud vault
- Encrypted chat services - Keeperchat is an encrypted message platform for you to communicate on
- BreachWatch scans your passwords and ensures they do not feature any of the phrases shared on the dark web.
Keeper provides a wide range of reasonably priced plans.
A Keeper personal subscription plan will cost $29.99 per year.
Keeper provides a max bundle plan. The plan costs $59.99 per year and includes the password manager, KeeperChat, the BreachWatch security feature and 10GB of secure file storage.
The family plan also costs $59.99 per year; this provides you with five licenses and 10GB of secure file storage.
If you wish to purchase a family max bundle, this will set you back $119.98 per year.
All plans include unlimited password storage, the ability to sync multiple devices and excellent customer support. Keeper also provides it, users, with the ability to restore previous versions of your records if something went wrong.
If you decide to give Keeper a go, try their free version, to help you determine if you wish to commit.
Most password managers will provide you with similar security options for your passwords and more.
They are essential if you are considering working from home. Whether you are starting a business from home, or working in one of the many remote worker positions available, you want your information to be safe.
Using a password manager is one of the many ways to stop cybercriminals in gaining access to your information.
About The Author
Susan is the founder of a2zonlinehub, a blog specializing in helping people become successful working from home or as independent freelancers. Originally a chartered Accountant, but moved into content writing to allow her the flexibility to work from home, around her three girl's schedules.