Password management is slowly becoming a nightmare these days, but there are ways in which you can improve how you handle the keys to your ever-growing portfolio of online accounts – a virtual keyring is available in the form of password management software. But are password managers safe and should you use a password manager in the first place? Continue reading to learn more.
If you need help managing the information technology in your business, give soma technology group a call on 1300 131 559 and ask us about our range of managed IT services. Amongst many other things, we can help you improve your security with our extensive IT security consulting experience.
Are Password Managers Safe?
Password managers are indeed one of the safest ways of storing passwords but there are caveats. While a password manager will supply you with computer generated, unique and extremely strong passwords for you to use in your accounts, they will require you to set up and memorise a strong password to lock and secure the password manager itself. The keyring analogy is quite appropriate here – your password manager can be thought of as a keyring where all of your keys are kept in one place and just as with a keyring, if you lose it or if you lose access to it, all of your attached passwords/keys are lost as well.
Are Online Password Managers Safe?
Are online password managers safe then? Generally speaking, yes, but again there are considerations to keep in mind. Once more, an online password manager stores all the keys to all your accounts potentially holding all your sensitive data in one place. The passwords stored in a manager are only as secure as your master password to the password management account itself. Passwords stored in online password managers will be stored remotely on a server and if the server is down, or if there are connection issues, depending on the password management platform, you may lose access to your entire password storage. Another thing to consider would be how much do you trust whoever is operating this server, the service itself and whether their systems are secure enough to hold your sensitive data.
What About Offline Password Managers?
There are of course offline password managers available as well. These do not store your data remotely on a central server, but rather keep it in an encrypted file on your computer, a portable storage device or a mobile device. The caveat is that you now must take care of managing and backing up of your password data bases yourself – if the file becomes corrupt or if the device that stores is stolen or destroyed, you once again stand to lose your entire database of passwords.
Should You Use a Password Manager?
Password managers are still a good way of managing your online credentials effectively. The number of accounts we create for ourselves on the Internet seems to grow each year with no end no sight. The penetration of biometric authentication technologies such as fingerprint readers is progressing, but traditional passwords are unlikely to go away any time soon – while most new mobile phones, especially the higher shelf models, will include a fingerprint reader or an iris scanner, laptop computers (and desktops even more so) still do not typically come with fingerprint readers. Additionally, while your device may be lockable with biometrics, not all online platforms where you create an account will support this feature yet, falling back on passwords once again.
The choice you will have to make will be between whether to entrust a third party to provide an online platform to keep your passwords safe, or if you prefer (and have to know-how) to store and look after your password database on your own computer, yourself.
If all that sounds like either a hassle or something that you just do not want to think about or deal with in general, get in touch with us at soma technology group by calling 1300 131 559 or contact us online, we provide an IT security consulting service and are able to help your business with a range of IT security related questions, issues and problems.