Why use a password manager when you can throw all passwords into a sticky note? Well, think of it this way: unless you enjoy playing Russian roulette with your digital (and real) life, a password manager is a must.
Password managers do more than just provide a safe haven for your passwords. Multiple data breaches occur every single week, impacting thousands of users. While a password manager can’t prevent data breaches, it can protect your identity with features like breach monitoring and generating discardable emails and phone numbers.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s take a look at why you should be using a password manager, how they keep you safe online, and how to choose the best password manager for you.
Imagine a digital safe where you can securely store your passwords with multiple layers of protection like encryption and multi-factor authentication (MFA). That’s a password manager!
Modern password managers do more than just protect your passwords. They also:
They may also offer additional security and privacy features, such as how Cloaked can send one-time passcodes, store additional personal information, and much more.
A password manager can ensure these data breaches don’t cost you your privacy or, in the worst cases, a ton of money.
Here are the benefits a password manager offers in addition to protecting your privacy and money:
You can kiss your password management woes goodbye once you hand them over to a password manager. A password manager:
Password managers are always on high alert when you’re browsing. When you land on a webpage that has the username, email, and password fields, the password manager springs into action.
Depending on the device you’re using, the browser extension or the app taps into the vault and finds the right credentials.
Some password managers go a step further and eliminate the need to click on the login button. This is possible when the password manager communicates with the browser via application programming interfaces (APIs).
This feature can help prevent credential stuffing attacks. In credential stuffing, cybercriminals use automated tools to try username and password combinations sourced from data breaches on other websites. The idea is to misuse the average user’s tendency to reuse passwords across multiple accounts.
For example, the 23andMe data breach happened using credential stuffing tactics: hackers used stolen passwords from one account to gain access to other accounts that were using the same login information.
Threat actors that are using stolen credentials don’t have to worry about evading threat detection systems or deploying complex ransomware: they can just log in to a user’s account using the username and password they stole from another account.
When your password manager generates, manages, and autofills long and complex passwords for you, you never need to reuse the same credentials. This keeps all of your different accounts secure–even if one gets compromised.
Suppose you use a password manager on your laptop and phone. You added a new account to the password manager this morning. You want to log into that account with your smartphone but you don’t have access to the laptop.
Password managers make it happen. Here’s how:
The best part? All of this happens in an instant.
Some password vaults allow you to create a shareable link for a digital handoff of specific passwords in your vault to another person. When the person opens the link, they authenticate themselves using their own master password to access the password.
You’re always in full control of access—you can edit or revoke access at any time. Some password managers also allow you to track who accessed which password and when–creating a digital audit trail.
Cloaked identity sharing is a secure method for giving out information with end-to-end encryption.
Password managers store more than just login credentials. You can also store notes, credit card details, and confidential documents.
Almost everything that applies to passwords also applies to other information. Password managers:
With your Cloaked identities, you can store anything you need securely and in one place. Bank account info, addresses, API keys–anything you need. When you need to share info with friends and family, you decide exactly who can access it and when.
Some password managers offer additional privacy features. For example, Cloaked is an all-in-one savior for your digital privacy, offering various security features such as its AutoCloak capability, which turns all your old passwords and logins into secure Cloaked identities.
An online identity includes your personal information—email, password, phone number, and more. Suppose you have a Fidelity banking account and you want to replace your original information in the Fidelity account with an identity generated using Cloaked. To do this, you go into your dashboard, select the identities you want to AutoCloak, and Cloaked updates everything for you.
But don’t stop with Fidelity! Cloaked allows you to batch-replace multiple identities all at once with secure email addresses, phone numbers, usernames, and passwords.
A tool is only as powerful as the hands that wield it. Here are a few best practices to be mindful of for maximum security:
Native password managers are convenient because they’re often easily accessible. But using Chrome’s built-in password manager or the Credential Manager in Windows, for example, has some extensive risks:
Choosing a strong master password is like fortifying the gates of your digital fortress. The more formidable your master password, the harder it will be for an attacker to get access to your passwords.
Here are some basics to follow:
Accessing your passwords isn’t impossible if someone gets physical access to your device. It’s like breaking through the gate of your fortress—challenging, but it can happen. Here’s what you can do to protect your device:
Practicing good password hygiene can make a world of difference. Here are a few good password habits you should follow:
Password managers are built to minimize risk. However, you still need to follow best practices to protect your data. Here are the risks to consider when using a password manager:
The problem with password managers is that they store all passwords in one secure place so it’s convenient for you to access them. But hackers want the exact same thing—all your data in one place. This makes device security mission-critical. Unless you use 2FA, you risk your password’s security.
Picture this. You’re using your phone when riding the subway and someone is looking over your shoulder. They memorize your device’s four or six-digit unlock code. The next time you put your phone down—whether at the market or at the restaurant—the criminal can pocket your device and gain access to all your passwords.
If a hacker manages to infect your device with malware, it will record your password as you type it. To prevent this, use a good antivirus program and don’t click on random links.
The only way to minimize the risks of a password manager is to use a password manager like Cloaked, which offers top-notch security and an extensive feature set.
Cloaked protects you against these adversaries with features like 2FA and advanced algorithms and encryption ciphers like ECC25519, Argon2, and XSalsa20-Poly1305. So even if a threat actor gets access to your device, they won’t get access to any of your logins, passwords, or saved information on Cloaked.
Since choosing the right password manager is vital to your password’s security, here’s a quick guide on how to choose a password manager.
Consider the following to assess the security features and risk responsiveness of a password manager:
Convenience is one of the primary reasons for using a password manager. If the app makes you jump through hoops to set up and access your passwords, it defeats the purpose of investing in a password manager.
Look for a password manager that:
Most password managers from reputable providers offer the basics—password generation, strong encryption, what have you. But the top providers offer one or more of the following features to up your password game and online security:
Read user reviews on forums and review websites like Capterra to understand what users think about the password managers you’ve shortlisted. Look for insights on the following:
Before you pull out your credit card, take a pause and see if the provider offers enough value—does it offer a good enough feature set and customer support given the price you’re paying? More importantly, is the price within your budget?
If the value and budget aren’t a problem, check if the app offers a trial or freemium plan. This gives you a chance to use the app firsthand without risking any money.
Some providers offer better rates for family or group plans. If your family members plan to use the password manager as well, these might be worth exploring.
Choosing the best password manager isn’t just about security. It’s a proactive stance against the wide range of threats lurking in the digital world. That’s where Cloaked comes in.
Cloaked makes it easy to generate complex passwords and store them in a digitally secure vault. The platform’s robust encryption ensures your passwords never go into the wrong hands.
And that’s not all—Cloaked offers nifty features like AutoCloak that help generate an email, password, phone number, and more, so you never have to share your private information.
Leave your passwords with a reliable partner.