Thursday, September 29, 2022

World Password Day: Password managers to keep you safe in 2021

Password managers

It’s the year 2021, and both “123456” and “password” remain the two most commonly used passwords on the web.

Cybersecurity needs to be brought more into the limelight than ever before, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic that saw the world’s workforce make the switch to remote work – a global crisis meshed with people working away from office cyber protection are a hacker’s dream.

The Internet is filled to the brim with easy tips and tricks that can help anyone form the safest and ironclad passwords; but while it’s impossible to remember them all, password managers help us offload that task by offering secure vaults – be them stored in the cloud or locally.

Let’s jump right in to discover the top three. 

The all-arounder

1Password shines among the rest as one of the most versatile password managers out there, as its paid subscription alerts users when a password is considered weak or has been breached.

In parallel, 1Password has a Travel Mode option which allows you to wipe any sensitive data from your various devices before traveling, and then restoring once you’ve reached your destination. This prevents anyone, even law enforcement at international borders, from accessing your complete password vault.

The password manager also works as an authenticator, while creating secret keys to the encryption key it uses, meaning no one can decrypt your passwords without that key; but beware, if the key is lost no one, not even 1Password can decrypt the data for you.

1Password can be integrated within all systems such as MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows, and ChromeOS, with a command tool for Linux users currently in beta.

Subscriptions cost $3.99 per month for teams, $7.99 for businesses, and a custom quote for large enterprises. For personal use, 1Password is priced at $2.99 for individual users, and $4.99 for a family pack.

To download 1Password, click here.

The freebie

The beauty of Bitwarden is that its both limitlessly free and open source, which allows anyone to inspect, look for potential or ongoing flaws, and fix them. Many experts have expressed joy at how user-friendly the password manager is.

The company believes that everyone should have access to password security tools, thus making its core feature 100 percent free of charge.

Bitwarden is available for all major web browsers and OS’ and can even be integrated within more secure options such as Opera, Brave, and Vivaldi. Interestingly enough, the app also supports Windows Hello and Touch ID on its desktop apps for Windows and macOS, providing you with an extra layer of security for your biometrics.

The password manager can also be installed on your own server if you’re looking to operate your own cloud.

Bitwarden offers a paid upgrade with its cheapest being Bitwarden Premium, priced at $10 per year. That gets you 1 GB of encrypted file storage, two-factor authentication and a password hygiene and vault health report. Paying also gets you priority customer support.

To download Bitwarden, click here.

King of the hill

LastPass remains as the undisputed king of password managers mainly due to its user-friendly UI, its support and integration within all major platforms and operating systems, all while boasting an arsenal of features.

However, it’s free tier option is no more – it no longer syncs across an unlimited number of the user’s devices, but instead only among computers or only among mobile devices. Otherwise, it still has nearly as many features as the paid version, such as a password generator, unlimited passwords and secure storage.

On the other hand, the paid version – priced at $3 per month – delivers syncing across all devices, as well as physical two-step authentication keys, 1GB of online file storage while monitoring dark web usage, and premium tech support.

The handy thing about is that it doesn’t require a downloadable software but can completely operate via browser extensions. LastPass’ desktop applications are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as on both App Stores.

While cybersecurity can feel like spring cleaning, it remains necessary to maintain high level protection for your passwords across all devices, and password managers are here to help you through it; and if the pandemic proved anything, it’s that anyone – regardless of who/what/where they are – can be targeted by hackers.