Ready for a Password Manager? Make Sure it Has These Qualities

by Josh Biggs in Tech on 21st February 2020

Commercials for the NFL’s Super Bowl are typically outlandish affairs that cost in the neighborhood of $5 million for 30 seconds, which means you typically see your fair share of big-name advertisers like Coca-Cola, Budweiser, and whatever numbered Fast and Furious or Marvel movie is due out next summer.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, one of the most enduring commercials during the big game came courtesy of the lock manufacturer Master Lock, which would run the same ad every year, one of its products in the locked positions being fired on at close range by a gun. The bullet would impact the lock’s body, leaving it smoking…but still locked.

This sort of advertising hammered home the point; the lock could take an extreme beating and keep on protecting your valuables.

Protecting your most precious pieces of data and information online has become one of the most hotly-contested issues over the last 20 years. The amount of cybercrime occurring on a daily basis is staggering, and you can purchase a basic hacker kit on the Dark Web for as little as $1 to start making mischief if you are so inclined. To counter those attacks, companies regularly pump out anti-virus and anti-malware kits, updating them as frequently as once per day in order to try and stay ahead of all the mischief and maliciousness out there.

Another way to slow down the risk of your private information being hacked or leaked is with a password manager. These programs put all of your logins into a “vault” and protect them from being exposed. They also allow you to not have to rely on your own memory to recall 25 different combinations of usernames and passwords anytime you need to check your bank balance, your credit score, make a credit card payment, buy something from Amazon, or check to see how your Fantasy Football team is doing.

But how safe are these managers? From a glass-half-empty perspective, you’re putting a lot of faith and an incredible amount of personal data into one app, that if compromised could spell your doom.   

The Best Password Managers are Worth It

Some password managers are little more than marketing repositories that want to see what websites you’re frequenting and sell your trends up the river. The quality password managers like Dashlane are taking many extra steps to keep your logins, and thus your data, safe as you cruise across the cyberverse. These managers will enable two-factor authentication before letting you access your vault, meaning you need your lengthy master password and something else, usually a code that is texted to your phone or sent to a fob that you carry on a keychain. You won’t be able to get in without this extra layer of protection.

Similarly, the better password managers will not allow anyone to see the actual logins that you’re using for specific sites, and it can change them in the blink of an eye at your command. Using a progressive algorithm, the password manager will assign ridiculously random combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols with no set password each time you reset a password, making it virtually impossible to crack even one of them.

Categories: Tech