Password Managers

P
Password

Now-a-days, we have user accounts on so many websites and applications. With every account, there is almost always a password associated. Now, keeping same password for every account poses the risk that if one password gets leaked, then all accounts can be compromised. On the other hand, keeping separate passwords for every account brings upon the user extra burden of remembering all passwords. Again, to make passwords memorable, they need to be simple enough to be memorable. With advances in computer techniques, it is always said that we should have strong passwords. Now, the problem arises that strong passwords are usually complex, and remembering them is a troublesome task. Writing all passwords on a diary poses the risk of losing the diary or the diary being stolen. Saving them in a file in the computer poses the risk of compromising the accounts if the computer gets hacked or losing access to the accounts entirely if the computer’s hard-disk gets corrupted. This is where password managers come in.

In simplest terms, a password manager is a software that stores and manages your passwords. Since using password manager is literally putting all of your eggs in one basket you have to choose the basket cautiously. It is better than writing your passwords down in your diary or something. There are 2 kinds of password managers – offline and online. In an offline password manager, the passwords are stored locally on your machine after encryption by the password manager. They can be unlocked with your master password for the password manager. Thus, if you remember your one master password for the password manager, you can literally stop worrying about remembering all your other passwords.

Online password managers encrypt your passwords locally first and then transmit them to their server where the encrypted passwords are again encrypted and stored. Even if the server gets hacked, no one will be able to use your encrypted passwords. Thus, your password manager’s master password must be extremely strong. Most of the good password managers such as Lastpass, Dashlane, KeePass hash the master password using complex encryption algorithms and repeat the process thousands of times. Since average hackers do not have this much processing power to break such complex algorithms, these password managers are pretty safe.

For Wikipedia entry on Password Manager, click here.

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