Maybe you have trouble remembering your passwords, creating new passwords that are secure and difficult to hack, or you’re a culprit of using “password” as your password. If any of that rings a bell, a password manager app might fix your relationship with passwords. But what do you need to know about password manager apps? Are they safe? Which one should you use? Do they really work? Don’t worry, we have the answers to your questions!
How do you currently manage your passwords?
Let’s talk about what you do with your passwords right now.
Maybe you save your login information to your most commonly used browser. Do you have an ongoing spreadsheet or document with all of your passwords listed for each account? Maybe you use a seemingly secure password…but for almost all of your accounts. Or you have a sticky note on your monitor with your password on it.
If this is you, cut it out! There are many reasons to avoid these methods. Hackers have the ability to take control of your computer remotely through the Internet. If you save passwords to your browser, your passwords are toast! If you store passwords in a spreadsheet, your passwords are vulnerable for the same reason. Spreadsheet software, like Excel, was not designed to manage your passwords, so don’t expect it to! If you use the same password across all accounts, when one account is compromised, all of your accounts are. And lastly, if you write down a password on a sticky note, anyone who comes in contact with that sticky note could gain access to your information. We know it sounds crazy, but hackers could potentially hack into your laptop or desktop camera and spy on your written down password! Avoid these vulnerabilities and protect your passwords!
We’re not asking you to memorize a bunch of different, hard-to-remember passwords. We’re also not asking you to change your password every few months. All we want is for you to do your research! If your passwords are already easy to crack, check out our blog post about how to create a more secure password! Consider enabling two-factor authentication or using a password manager app.
What’s so great about password manager apps?
We’re glad you asked! When 7 in 10 people are wary about password protection through traditional methods, password manager apps are a great alternative to your sticky note. Password managers allow you the same convenience found in saving your password to a browser, but provide security in levels of encryption. For each account, the password manager app saves your unique password and encrypts it. This means you can securely store your passwords, use them, and you only have to remember one master password.
There are plenty of brands out there that provide the level of security we suggest, like Dashlane and LastPass. Both of these password managers use two-factor authentication, password strength reports, and secured sharing. They cost between $24-40, but you can’t put a price tag on security!
There’s got to be some kind of catch…
Oh, there is! As technology becomes more advanced, hackers are getting smarter, richer, and more powerful. That means we are getting easier to hack if we don’t use protective resources. Password manager apps are just the same and have hosted vulnerabilities that expose user credentials. While there is no silver bullet, no impenetrable software, and no guarantee of unbreached security, that does not mean we stop trying to protect our information.
This goes back to doing your research. LastPass has experienced several breaches over the years. All LastPass customers were victims of one breach in 2017, but a vulnerability patch was issued shortly after it was discovered. It is up to you to decide if those vulnerabilities are worth over-looking for the added security of a password manager.
Don’t worry, Def-Logix is doing something a little different!
If you don’t want to take a risk on other password managers, you could always follow along with what we’re working on at Def-Logix! We have created another level of security that works alongside your basic password manager app. The Trusted User Module, or TUM, is a kind of software that essentially splits a password manager between your smartphone and your smartwatch. Between your phone and your wearable, TUM takes your password, stores half of it on your device, and the other half on your wearable. This is an added layer of protection other than just encryption or two-factor authentication. TUM works so that you can only access your full passwords by having both devices present. One cannot enter passwords without the other.
If you are interested in being a Beta Tester for our TUM project, you can sign up with us! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
If you don’t want to take a risk on other password managers, you could always follow along with what we’re working on at Def-Logix! We have created another level of security that works alongside your basic password manager app. The Trusted User Module, or TUM, is a kind of software that essentially splits a password manager between your smartphone and your smartwatch.