5 Best Password Managers for 2021
We live in a digital age that allows seamless connectivity across our online presence. While this is certainly a convenience in many ways, it also opens up many possibilities for malicious intents. Cyber crimes such as identity theft, hacks, malware and such are all real threats within this digital age.
The imminent threats to hacks, data compromises, and similar events are even more pronounced when it comes to sensitive data – such as your investment assets, bank accounts, and other financial information. Often times the only thing preventing your data and/or assets to be compromised is just a username and a simple password.
That being said, there are ways to increase the safety of your online presence. With passwords being one of the gateways to your sensitive data, it’s a good place to start.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at five different password managers, what features each of them offers for your protection, and how they can improve your overall online safety.
What is a password manager?
Now, before we start let’s get a working definition of what a password manager is for the context in which we’ll be discussing in this article
A password manager is simply an app or program that allows users to manage, store, and retrieve passwords for their online accounts and/or applications.
Password managers store this information in highly secure and encrypted databases that prevent any external parties from accessing them without the correct credentials to access them.
Think of password managers as a type of digital vault that encrypts and stores all your sensitive login credentials, sensitive information, and obviously your passwords – using a single master password.
Using a password manager allows you to just use one master password that opens the vault to all your other passwords and account credentials.
We’ll be taking a closer look at 5 popular password managers, and see what features they offer. Some of these come in both paid and free-to-use options. You’ll just have to decide which ones suit your needs the most.
Top 5 password managers
LastPass – The most popular password manager
LastPass has an in-depth free version which of course includes managing passwords, autofill options as well as the ability to sync your passwords across your devices.
Another cool feature that LastPass offers is the option to share a login. For example, if you want a colleague to be able to log into one of your accounts on a website, you can email them the share link, which won’t actually let them see your password, but still give them access to log in.
If you are concerned about your master password being compromised, LastPass offers 2FA with Google Authenticator which will allow for an extra level of security.
Something to consider however is that the main version is $3 USD per month, which is one of the more expensive password managers you can find.
Additionally, public opinion doesn’t seem to be very favorable with LastPass as it receives a “poor” rating on TrustPilot.
KeePass – Free open source password manager
KeePass on the surface level looks like an old, outdated, and not-so-sleek password manager when you look into the website and the user interface, but is actually one of the most used and trusted managers on the market.
The security and reputation are high, due to users who don’t want to use cloud-based software. It has a dedicated group of users that swear by nothing else.
If you aren’t too worried about using a cloud-based password manager, but still want to know about the extra perks that come with KeePass, they include a password generator that is randomized, multi-language support, and can even be kept on a physical USB stick, making it portable offline for Windows and Mac users.
It has a 4.0 score on TrustPilot and is simple, to the point, and best of all, free!
1Password – The world’s most loved password manager
1Password operates as an offline tool (similar to KeePass), but luckily allows for options to manually upload your passwords to the cloud, or to sync them to your devices via Wi-Fi or USB.
It comes with all the general features that you would expect, such as the auto-fill function, a constantly updated protected privacy setting which also informs you of any breaches that could have happened on your accounts.
The free version does the job well, but there is a paid version too which offers that little bit extra. It has family options as well as small business options where other users in the group can gain access to the logins, without needing to actually see the password or credit card details.
There are however some setbacks. For example, if you wanted to sign in to your accounts from a new device, it requires both the master password, as well as a code that is only accessible through a current device that is already authorised.
There are ways around it if you can’t access the current device, but it is a bit of a lengthy process. And this can be confusing and/or daunting for those who just want seamless access to their online credentials.
Overall, it has a 4.6/5 score on TrustPilot and does the job for most people.
Bitwarden – The most trusted open source password manager
Bitwarden is one of the most trusted, reliable, and free password managers that also is amazingly user-friendly and has a whole lot of features.
Due to it being open-source software, one of its main focuses is accessibility. It includes great security features across different platforms and also includes features that make life easier, such as syncing for teams and businesses on multiple devices. It comes with unlimited online storage, as well as optional self-hosting capabilities.
The basic plan is free, and the premium plan starts at $10 per year, which includes vault health reports, which tell you if your passwords aren’t as secure as they could be. It has a 4.⅘ score on TrustPilot and also can be used on mobile devices.
Dashlane – Your login shortcut
Although it is not as popular as some of the others (yet), Dashlane is gaining popularity very quickly. Dashlane acts as a digital wallet as well, which saves all of your different payment methods to be accessible quickly and securely.
One of its greatest features is the change password tool. Most people recommend changing your passwords every month, which can be quite a daunting and boring task.
Luckily, the developers have created scripts for many popular sites which totally automate the password-changing process.
Another very cool feature that Dashlane has, is the ability to select a designated emergency contact, who will have access to your account if anything bad were to happen to you, and you can also designate who gets access to which accounts, passwords, or payment methods.
It includes all of the features that have been written on the other password managers above, with a TrustPilot score of 4.1.
Although it is on the more expensive side, $40 USD per year, it is definitely worth looking into and considering for an awesome all-in-one password manager.
Testing the safety of your current password
Now that you have a general idea of password managers to use. It would be a good time to re-evaluate your current password and credentials.
If you’re one of those people who use passwords that contain information identifiable to your personal identity, chances are you’re an easy target for hackers and are at risk for data compromise.
A strong password should at least be 12 or more characters and contain a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols for maximum security.
Another common way for hackers to gain access to your password is with a ‘keylogger’, where someone tracks the keystrokes that you do when typing in your password.
A password manager has a tool where it will auto-fill your password, so nothing is actually typed, combating these keylogger attacks.
To summarize, living in the digital age comes with its inherent benefits – as well as its dangers. It’s easy to fall into a false sense of security when you’re just harmlessly browsing the web, until one day your accounts or passwords are compromised.
It’s best to take preemptive action and take your online security more seriously on the internet. You can start doing so by implementing one of the password managers discussed in this article.
Hopefully, this has been insightful and brought awareness of the importance of password security, not just in the crypto setting but also in general on the web.
Want more safety tips? Browse our library of security topics on the Learn Site at Easy Crypto.
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