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What is the most secure way to store passwords?

January 4, 2022 odmin 0 Comments

Are you battling to manage and securely store the long and complex passwords for numerous apps, websites, and other platforms? Can’t remember where you noted down the password for that new account you created just a few months ago? Have you often had to click on ‘forgot password’ because you’re locked out of your account? Find the solution to these challenges in this article.

Securely storing passwords and knowing how to manage all of them is challenging – many websites have unique requirements when it comes to creating a  password, and in any case, it is never safe to use the same one across multiple websites or apps.

What makes a strong password?

Before we discuss the most secure way to store your passwords and how to securely manage all your them, let’s first have a look at how to build a strong password:

1. Do not use real words.

Words, such as strawberry or alligator, or any word found in a dictionary are not very strong because they are easy to crack.

2. Do not use personal information.

Personal information, such as the name of a childhood pet or your birthday, is easy to guess – you don’t need to be a hacker to crack this!

3. Create a password that is at least 8 characters long.

The longer a key word, the more secure it is. Most platforms have a minimum required length; this ensures that users create passwords that are strong.

4. Use a unique key word for each app or website you have an account on.

This ensures that if one of your accounts are hacked into, the hacker is unable to gain access to your other accounts as well.

5. Include a variety of lower- and upper-case letters, symbols and numerical characters.

By using a variety of characters, your password is made stronger.

6. Change your passwords regularly.

If you use the same key word for years on end, you are at higher risk of being hacked, therefore it is best to change it often. When updating it, make sure you are updating to something entirely new, and not just changing one symbol or letter from the previous one.

Now you have numerous exclusive passwords for each account you have online. This can be overwhelming – how will you securely store and manage these passwords?

Most commonly, they are kept in places which are not secure, for example using the notes app on your phone, an easily accessible document on your computer, or scribbled down at the back of an old journal (which you’ve likely already misplaced) – it is advised that you avoid doing this.

Documents and files on both your phone and computer can very easily be accessed if they are not protected by encryptions. Managing passwords on paper runs the risk of firstly, you losing that paper and secondly, of someone going through your physical belongings and finding it.

If your passwords are not managed securely, you are at risk of:

–   Having your account being hacked.

Ever witnessed a celebrity post something strange online? Or gotten a bizarre text from a friend with a link to a dodgy website? This could happen to you if a hacker gains access to any of your social media accounts. Someone can log into your account, share explicit content on your profile and/or send messages to your friends and followers – and everyone will think it’s you!

–   Having your finances being compromised

Although most banking apps and websites have encryption software to protect their users against cybertheft, if your account is hacked, you are still at great risk of having your account compromised.

–   Having your identity stolen.

With access to extremely personal information, you can easily be impersonated – not only online but in the real world too. Hackers will be able to create accounts and commit crimes under your name, creating many tough-to-solve problems.

Why is it important to securely store and manage passwords?

It is crucial that you learn how to securely manage all your passwords. Hackers can easily gain access to your information by cracking them. Therefore, you have to be sure that these are securely stored and managed. Note that the greater the strength of your key words, the longer it takes to crack it – but secure storing of these strong, complex key words is imperative. Not only does this prevent you from losing them, but also prevents anyone from gaining access to them.

What is the most secure way to store passwords?

There are two main options when it comes to securely storing and managing passwords.

–   Browser password managers

Most browsers offer password storage. These have a slight advantage in that they are completely free – but these may not be the best solution. A major drawback of these is that passwords are only stored on one browser and cannot be accessed over a variety of browsers. What if you switch browsers? It can be tedious to go back to the browser you created a particular account with to retrieve the password.

–   Password manager apps

The most secure way to store and  manage key words by far, is to make use of password manager apps. These apps not only help you to store your valuable data securely but also help create strong and reliable passwords. Moreover your data can be accessible on multiple browsers and devices.

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