A word that appears once too often in the cyber world is ‘Security Breach‘. Hackers are always waiting for the best possible chance to inflict as much damage as they can to us by accessing our accounts. Secure websites, as they say are also bad at keeping the information safe.
The art of making passwords is a difficult one, but attainable. Many make the mistake that when they enter a password, the account for which they set it for is only to be accessed by them and not by others. This is the reason why many accounts which are hacked have childish passwords. For instance, Password123 etc.
What Are Password Managers?
A password manager is a software application that helps a user organize passwords and PIN codes. The software typically has a local database or a file that holds the encrypted password data for secure logon onto computers, networks, web sites and application data files.
Password managers offer a measurable degree of security as opposed to writing passwords on sticky notes or etc.
Here’s a compilation of three free to use password managers:
The cross platform free password manager is one of the well reknowed in the field. LastPass is a free password management service which seeks to resolve the password problems by centralising user password management in the cloud. It has a standard interface and there are plugins available for the modern browsers. Passwords in LastPass are protected by a master password and are encrypted locally and are synchronized to any other browser. LastPass also has a form filler that automates password entering and form filling. It also supports password generation, site sharing and site logging.
LastPass does not possess the encryption key to any account and all the encryption and decryption takes place on your computer. It also features a Finger-print verification using local certificates or Yubi key. LastPass’ premium credit monitoring is available otherwise it’s free.
KeePass is one of the most secure password managers out there, with open heritage being it’s strongest advantage. KeePass stores all usernames, passwords, other fields, including free-form notes, in a securely encrypted database, protected by a single master password and/or key file. Unlike many other password management tools, by default the KeePass encrypted database is not stored in the cloud, but strictly locally, for added security.
KeePass supports the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES, Rijndael) and the Twofish algorithm to encrypt password databases.
KeePass is flexible and extensible, with many configuration options. It supports two-factor authentication and Windows secure desktop option to protect against keyloggers. KeePass can import from over 30 other most commonly used password managers.
KeePass requires no installation, and can be carried on a USB flash drive too. The password list can be exported to various formats like TXT, HTML, XML and CSV.
Keepass also offers plugin architecture which allows plugins to be created for it by people to extend its functionality even further.
3.) F-Secure Key
F-Secure Key (free for basic version, 16$/year for premium) is a new password manager by security company, F-Secure. The free PC edition along with the iOS, Android and Mac solutions does not offer any online synchronisation. For that, you need to purchase the premium version instead. It has a clean GUI and intuitive interface. It can export all your password managers too. It offers standardised industry standard AES-256 bit encryption to secure the passwords.
Like its competitors, KeePass and LastPass, F-Secure Key includes a tool to generate passwords, though one that is not as feature-rich. The apps’ auto-locking feature cannot be controlled, and the auto-login feature lacks severe limitations. It neither supports password groups or categories which can be helpful in identifying different kinds of websites.
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