11.10.2018

Remember only 1 password - Password managers are the order of the day

With Password Manager, you'll never forget your password again

A different password should be used for each service. The password should also be long, contain upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Almost all your data is password-protected on various services, and the number is growing all the time. So it's really hard to memorise the passwords for every service, even if you come up with a handy rule for remembering your passwords. There is a life-saving solution to this problem, which also raises the level of security.

The idea of Password Manager is to keep all your passwords for different services behind one master password. Ns. The password vault can only be opened with the master password and is most commonly protected by very strong encryption. In addition to the main password, it is a good idea to protect the vault with two-factor authentication. There are several different types of password managers, but the most common are cloud-based. Password manager services usually work with browser plug-ins. The browser add-on allows you to sign in to different services with a single click by filling in your login details for you. In this guide, I will go through the 5 most common password managers and try to highlight their strengths and weaknesses.

Which password manager is right for me?

1. LastPass

LastPass is one of the most popular password manager services, offering a wide range of additional features. LastPass features include. Automatic filling of passwords and payment details in online shops, automatic generation of strong passwords and letting a trusted friend into your 'password vault' if something happens to you. Your passwords are stored in encrypted form on LastPass' secure cloud server. LastPass supports several different 2FA (two-factor authentication) methods. LastPass is mainly free, but some features of LastPass are paid.

LastPass works best as a browser extension, but they also have a huge number of apps for different devices. The add-on will also see if you open a known password fishing site, and will not automatically fill in your username and password for them. The weakness of LastPass is its popularity, which makes it a common target for hackers.

2. KeePass Password Safe

KeePass is a completely free option that does not use any cloud service to work. All your authentication information is stored in a database file, the encryption strength of which you can define yourself at the creation stage. KeePass is therefore a really great solution for people who like to have complete control over their data. Since your password database is in file format, you can also upload it to your own cloud service, where you can synchronise it with your different devices. KeePass is also an open source application, so password databases can be managed by different password management applications. For example, KeeWeb is a great option that also natively supports synchronisation with most cloud services. KeePass also works on Android devices, but you will need to find a third-party app to open the password database file. I personally use KeeWeb + Keepass2Android to manage my own passwords.

3. F-Secure KEY

The domestic password manager F-Secure KEY offers a slightly narrower feature list compared to LastPass, but provides the full service in Finnish. KEY lacks the automatic storage of passwords that almost all other competing products have. As a nice extra feature, you'll get a notification in your mobile app if a popular service is hacked and your account could be at risk.

4. Dashlane

A very simple and clean interface with basic features for free. Dashlane's password manager currently offers little difference compared to the LastPass option, but the trend is upwards. The paid version of Dashlane offers some nice additional features such as: VPN (Virtual Private Network).

2021 Update: Dashlane has emerged as the near market leader in our comparison. Dashlane has a number of different services and for businesses in particular they offer a really good, convenient package. Sharing passwords with other employees is convenient and the fallbacks work well. The Darknet monitor monitors the leakage of passwords into the wrong hands and alerts you if your password is found on a leaked list. Auto password change already works on some services. I recommend Dashlane at this point.

5. Bitwarden

Like KeePass, Bitwarden is an open source password manager that is completely free. Bitwarden is also very similar to KeePass in terms of features. So it is almost entirely a matter of opinion which of these is better for you. One decisive factor may be the appearance of the program, which is much more modern on Bitwarden.

What other benefits does password manager provide?

More and more services have added many other special features to their offer, such as: PIN code storage, personal identity number storage and payment method storage. This way you don't have to memorise them and they stay in a secret vault. Many service providers have also added features such as data breach alerts, which tell their users if a known large online service is compromised. After a data breach, it's always a good idea to change your password and see if it's worth keeping your account with the service.

It is up to each individual to consider for themselves what information they can trust companies with. You can never be 100 percent sure where your data will go when you put it online, so be wary of password managers.

Summary

So follow this checklist:

  • Always use a different password for different services
  • Use only strong passwords that are not easily guessed, even with a computer.
  • Do not store your passwords in plain language anywhere.

All the items in this list are easily ticked off when you use the password manager. With Password Manager, you can create long and really complex passwords without even having to remember them. Switching to a password manager can be painful, but over time you'll find it makes your digital life a whole lot easier. If you feel you are a more advanced user, I would definitely recommend checking out the services of KeePass and Bitwarden.

Written by Tuomas
Yrittäjä @ Tuonetti
Strong Finnish Internet Partner
finnish company
code from finland
finnish keyflag
fi broker
google cloud partner
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