Whether to use Password Manager

A Password Manager is an application whose primary purpose is to store your various passwords to access various sites and applications. The basic idea is that you have one master key that you use to log in to the password manager application and that you only need to remember it while all other application codes will be taken care of.


Does everyone need a password manager?

The answer to this question is not easy to give. If you are using a number of websites where you need to login through your username and password, it is certainly advisable to use this application to make your life easier. On the other hand, if you only have a few passwords to remember (note that it is extremely bad practice to use the same passphrase to log in to different sites because if one gets to one will be able to access all other accounts on other sites) then you do not need to use this kind of application because, by doing so, we will not achieve anything too much.

How does the password manager work?

The basic idea is to install this application as a plugin for the web browser you are using (Firefox, Chrome, Safari …) and then save the logins to different sites. When you access a site as a user, it has an autofill option that will automatically populate the username and password you previously saved (if there are multiple accounts on the same site, the application will ask you which account you want to use). But not only that, an application of this type will also, make sure that you do not use the same code in more than one place, then that all the code is complex enough or difficult to break through, as well as to be careful if any code is changed on one of the accounts automatically updates in its database. Most of these applications also have secure code generators, which are now recommended to be a minimum of 16 digits, of course now there is no problem because they do not need to be remembered because of the application itself will work for you. It’s especially complicated to remember these codes but not only to type them together with various symbols on your smartphone or tablet, so this type of application also comes in handy.

What are the popular password managers?

Here are some of the well known and popular applications for this purpose, but my goal is not to list many different ones, but some that are representative of this type of application.

Following is my list of the top 5:

  1. LastPass
  2. Dashlane
  3. RoboForm
  4. 1Password
  5. LogMeOnce

How safe is all this?

There is a question of safety when using such applications and there are two different opinions. One side of the story is that this is dangerous because if someone comes up with the master password that we use to log in to the password manager application itself then that person will have absolute access to all of our remembered usernames along with associated passwords, which is a potential security issue. On the other hand, if we do not use such an application, it is very difficult if not impossible to use secure codes for a large number of sites and applications, because it is very difficult to remember a code generated by a 16-character generator for each site separately, without saying that it is very difficult and enter on portable devices. Often, users resort to creating a text file on their computer where they record all their accounts for different sites along with codes and then just do copy/paste where needed. In my personal opinion, this is a much worse variant than using a password manager that stores all the codes in a file other than plain text. However, the question is how we use the password manager application, not just how good and secure it is for the manufacturer. A large number of users store the master code somewhere on their computer (never do this), and again there are problems where we actually came back to the fact that we do not need this application then.

Lastly, I would like to mention an event related to the LastPass application where a leak was detected in this application that allows us to leak usernames and passwords through a web browser plugin which is very quickly fixed by the software vendor.

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