How To Choose The Best Password Vault For Your Needs!
# security

How To Choose The Best Password Vault For Your Needs!

Did you know that the word "sunshine" was one of the most common passwords of 2020? Such a simple word to remember, yet dangerous to use for security. This is one of the reasons why a password vault is an essential tool in today's digital world.

Password vaults, also titled password managers or password keepers are brilliant for managing your passwords in a centralised place, and in this article I'm going to dive into how you should go about choosing one...

Choosing a password vault that suits your needs and requirements, because there's a few.

Are you ready? Let's dive right in then.

What Is A Password Vault?

what is a password vault

Password vaults, also sometimes called password managers or keepers, are pieces of software that allow you to store many different passwords for all of your accounts in a safe, encrypted format.

You may have noticed when typing your details into websites and logging in (in browsers such as Chrome and Safari) that the browser prompts you to store your details in the browser.

This is because it's easier to use a password vault rather than trying to remember all of the passwords that you have, and often, unless you've got a weak password, you aren't going to be able to remember them.

You see, many years ago if you wanted to store a strong, safe password you would''ve needed to remember them, you'd often either write them down, or maybe you'd use the same password for many accounts such as social media.

Why?

Because there was no way of generating a strong password and remembering it, and so many people (myself included) opted to create a reasonably strong password but had sometimes used that for many of the same sites.

Password vaults and managers take away the guesswork, and since these have become more popular as time has gone on, more and more people are now using them.

How Do Password Vaults Work?

how does a password vault work

A password manager is, in essence, a reasonably straightforward piece of software to understand right?

They store passwords in an encrypted format that only makes sense to the password manager in question, and no one else.

Often, you won't be able to click a button like: "Forgot Password" when logging into a password manager because they simply don't know your one, secure, strong master key.

You see...

Password managers work really well when they've got a lot of your accounts in them.

Why?

Because they work best at notifying you to change your password regularly, and allow you to save crucial time in your day by not having to remember your Amazon's login credentials or your Facebook's account.

Are Password Managers Safe For Use?

Sure, they've been hacked in the past, but then that's the same with most software and digital products isn't it.

Hackers exist, and so do Cyber security threats, so it's completely valid to challenge the security of a password manager, I wasn't keen on them for a long time, and up until recently, the data breach that LastPass faced in 2015 put me off for a while.

But then, consider this...

The tech giants: Google, Facebook and Twitter all have admitted to data breaches and storing passwords in plain text, which you should never do.

The 3 Types Of Password Managers

types of password managers

When trying to choose the best type of password vault for your needs you're going to need to be armed with the different types so that you can make a highly informed decision right?

You can't just pick one without knowing what your options are, so let's take a look at each one:

  • SSO (Single Sign-on) - a traditional password keeper will store your passwords for every application you use, SSO on the other hand will allow you to use a single password, a one use password for every application. It's like a passport and provides minimal hassle
  • Desktop - typically, you could download a password manager to your computer like a piece of software that runs on your device and means it's not connected to the outside world, KeePass is an example of this for Windows
  • Cloud - by far the most popular choice, you can normally install some kind of browser extension, and can access your password vault from your browser and smartphone, these are the most common, LastPass is an example of this

Okay, How Do I Choose The Best One?

how to choose the best password manager

When figuring out what password vault to go for, you need to consider:

  • How often will you be logged into your computer?
  • Is your computer a personal computer or work computer?
  • Do you even have a computer or laptop?
  • Would you spend money on specific features?

If you don't have a computer, then it's clear that desktop password vaults aren't going to be an option, so cloud managers are already pushed to the top of the list here.

However, if you do have a computer, but it's a work computer, you might want to opt for specific desktop password vaults that you install onto your computer to prevent running the risk of data being leaked by a third party company.

Personally, I would recommend that you opt for a cloud based password vault since these are a great compromise and also offer subscription plans for you to access additional features such as:

  • Encrypted file storage in the cloud
  • Shared folders
  • Statistic dashboards

It's of course very important to consider whether you really need to spend that money every month on a subscription based password manager of course since you might not even end up using the additional features offered by the service.

At the end of the day, the way you're ultimately going to choose the best password vault or manager is by assessing the questions above, if you have a computer, then a cloud based service makes total sense.

I hope you enjoyed this blog article. If you found it useful and helpful, please feel free to share it on social media and don't forget to take a look at some of our other articles too.

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