Password managers are applications or computer software that stores account details and credentials in an encrypted form and provides them when needed.
Why is there a need for password managers?
This is an essential question owing to the delicate nature of security today. Virtually all of our human endeavors have become computerized, and with that, it is easy to lose access to important files and documents when you forget your passwords. Apart from forgetting your passwords, you also run at risk of being susceptible to fraudulent activities on the internet.
Passwords used to be very simple strings of letters of the alphabets, numbers, or a combination of both. However, with the rise in cases of fraud on the internet, internet users started to use passwords that are hard to crack.
In this reality, using one password across platforms may seem like the perfect thing to do for easy remembrance and access to your accounts when you need them, but then, that is equally susceptible.
We all have important parts of our lives on the internet. As much as physical security is vital to life, internet security is quite essential too but, unlike physical security, internet security is expensive especially since it is not always a provision rendered by most governments as they do with the Police, Army and other security agencies. While there, are a variety of expensive security software, each of them has specific roles they play, just like the Police, Army and Navy in a country.
The importance of security can therefore not be underestimated. However, its affordability is another issue but, the best bet remains to steer clear of trouble by avoiding phishing links, downloading unverified and unregistered software, visiting insecure websites and giving random people, we do not trust access to our computers.
What is the best way to protect our apps and web services?
A secure and hard to crack password is the best way to protect your social media, email and different accounts and services you make use of on the internet. A strong and hard to crack password usually contains alphanumeric characters, e.g. sect23%A&^09nvsndwxvw!@#)5~`:/.rtw2v2dg. Optimum security demands that you use a different password that is similar to this example for every site. The difficulty involved in this is remembering them when you need to access your accounts on the internet.
Password managers will help you keep track of all of your existing passwords and allow you replace them with ease. Password managers are the solution to this difficulty. They are typically integrated with browsers to capture usernames and passwords logged onto secure websites during account creation, when you modify your passwords, etc. Some password managers are developed to be installed on your system from where it will store local data. Some are web-based, and they save their data on cloud servers. Another set of password managers are hardware-based, i.e. these make use of third-party devices to gather biometrics that can be used in place of the passwords.
The best free password managers of 2018
This article will analyze some of the best free password manager apps and software available. Their unique features will be described explicitly to guide you to make a perfect choice.
1. KeePass – pronounced as key pass, KeePass is an easily configurable windows desktop manager that is also available for Linux and MacOS. KeePass saves usernames and passwords in an encrypted file on the user’s device. Although it is a free and open source software, it supports import and export of credentials in the form of several extensions including XML, CSV, HTML, etc. KeePass supports form auto-fill, two-factor authentication and has an inbuilt password generator tool. KeePass, however, has a few limitations compared to other popular password managers mainly because most of its convenient factors are only available through third-party applications.
2. Sticky Password – This password manager works on all popular web browsers and supports several operating systems including Android. One unique feature of this password manager is its ability to synchronize data across Wi-Fi over local networks and on the cloud. Sticky Password has several amazing features such as auto form filling, password management, two-factor authentication. It stands out from most password managers because it supports biometrics directly without third-party apps. Its paid version comes with extra features such as cloud backup, cross-device synchronizing. Sticky Password stands out from other password managers because of its ability to store user payment details and credentials.
3. LastPass – LastPass is a digital advanced password manager that offers cross-platform support and stores login details on its cloud service. Its amazing features include two-factor authentication, automatic form filling, automatic password capture, etc. LastPass is unique as it imports data from other web browsers and password managers installed on the same computer. It is available in different extensions ranging from Mozilla Firefox to Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Opera, etc. Unlike other password management software, LastPass’ advanced management features are quite rare to find on other password management software.
4. Trueky – Trueky is another password management software that appears simple on the outside, but with many amazing features such as facial and fingerprint sign in, two-step verification amongst others. Trueky stands out from other password managers because it allows the use of any of your devices for authentication. It has a password generator and a digital wallet to save personal information, which is encrypted and protected locally but can be synced across other devices.
5. Dashlane – this password manager is available across platforms and is designed to protect user data using an AES-256 bit encryption to store the data locally. Form filling, automatic logins, two-factor authentication are some of the features it possesses. Its digital wallet feature, however, makes it stand out from many password managers because it further allows it store credit and debit card details and other payment details. Dashlane allows for the storage of unlimited details, but this is restricted to one device. The premium version, however, does not limit the number of devices allowed. Dashlane has a password generator tool whose interface will enable users to change passwords with ease.
The list goes on. In fact, there could be better software missed out on this list. Each of these software listed above was built to help you remember those difficult passwords and login details used to keep your internet activities safe. There are many fraudulent activities perpetrated on the internet, and it is tough to avoid them sometimes. Password managers give you the much-needed advantage to go about your business with the assurance of safety from any form of attack.