When it comes to safeguarding your Internet security, installing an antivirus software or running a Secure Linux OS on your system does not mean you are safe enough from all kinds of cyber-threats.
Today majority of Internet users are vulnerable to cyber attacks, not because they aren’t using any best antivirus software or other security measures, but because they are using weak passwords to secure their online accounts.
Passwords are your last lines of defense against online threats. Just look back to some recent data breaches and cyber attacks, including high-profile data breach at OPM (United States Office of Personnel Management) and the extra-marital affair site Ashley Madison, that led to the exposure of hundreds of millions of records online.
Although you can not control data breaches, it is still important to create strong passwords that can withstand dictionary and brute-force attacks.
You see, the longer and more complex your password is, the much harder it is crack.
How to Stay Secure Online?
Security researchers have always advised online users to create long, complex and different passwords for their various online accounts. So, if one site is breached, your other accounts on other websites are secure enough from being hacked.
Ideally, your strong password should be at least 16 characters long, should contain a combination of digits, symbols, uppercase letters and lowercase letters and most importantly the most secure password is one you don’t even know.
The password should be free of repetition and not contain any dictionary word, pronoun, your username or ID, and any other predefined letter or number sequences.I know this is a real pain to memorize such complex password strings and unless we are human supercomputers, remembering different passwords for several online accounts is not an easy task.
The issue is that today people subscribe to a lot of online sites and services, and it’s usually hard to create and remember different passwords for every single account.
But, Luckily to make this whole process easy, there’s a growing market for password managers for PCs and phones that can significantly reduce your password memorizing problem, along with the cure for your bad habit of setting weak passwords.
What is Password Manager?
Password Manager software has come a very long way in the past few years and is an excellent system that both allows you to create complex passwords for different sites and remember them.
A password manager is just software that creates, stores and organizes all your passwords for your computers, websites, applications and networks.
Password managers that generate passwords and double as a form filler are also available in the market, which has the ability to enter your username and password automatically into login forms on websites.
So, if you want super secure passwords for your multiple online accounts, but you do not want to memorize them all, Password Manager is the way to go.
How does a Password Manager work?
Typically, Password Manager software works by generating long, complex, and, most importantly, unique password strings for you, and then stores them in encrypted form to protect the confidential data from hackers with physical access to your PC or mobile device.
The encrypted file is accessible only through a master password. So, all you need to do is remember just one master password to open your password manager or vault and unlock all your other passwords.
However, you need to make sure your master password is extra-secure of at least 16 characters long.
Which are the Best Password Managers? How to Choose?
I’ve long recommended password managers, but most of our readers always ask:
- Which password manager is best?
- Which password manager is the most secure?
So, I’m introducing you some of the best Password Manager currently available in the market for Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS and Enterprise.
Before choosing a good password manager for your devices, you should check these following features:
- Cross-Platform Application
- Works with zero-knowledge model
- Offers two-factor authentication (multi-factor authentication)
Note: Once adopted, start relying on your password manager because if you are still using weak passwords for your important online accounts, nobody can save you from malicious hackers.
For More Enhanced Security, Use 2-Factor Authentication
No matter how strong your password is, there still remains a possibility for hackers to find some or the other way to hack into your account.
Two-factor authentication is designed to fight this issue. Instead of just one password, it requires you to enter the second passcode which is sent either to your mobile number via an SMS or to your email address via an email.
So, I recommend you to enable two-factor authentication now along with using a password manager software to secure your online accounts and sensitive information from hackers.