Are Password Managers Safe To Use

Are Password Managers Safe To Use in 2024?

Are Password Managers Safe To Use in 2024?

Online security is one of the most important considerations when setting up your online presence.

It doesn’t matter if you’re setting up a personal social media account or accessing business bank accounts online.

You need to think about security.

While every system should have antivirus, anti-malware, and firewalls, the simplest way to protect data is to use passwords.

These effectively lock accounts to unauthorized people. 

Unfortunately, the number of web-based applications available means you’re likely to need a lot of passwords.

The average web user now has somewhere around 70-100 passwords. 

To maintain security all these passwords should be strong and unique. That makes it almost impossible to remember them all. 

Users employ a variety of techniques, password managers are one approach that is becoming increasingly popular.

However, it means keeping all your passwords in one place, leading to the obvious question, ‘Are password managers safe to use?’.

Key Statistics 

  • Cases of identity theft have doubled since the global pandemic
  • One in five Us citizens use password managers
  • 84% of password manager users have them on their cell phone
  • 65% of people don’t trust password managers
  • Approximately 58% of the Us population has experienced a data breach
  • 85% of people know re-using a password is risky

Are Password Managers Safe To Use?

Password Managers

All data online is a target for cybercriminals and password managers are no different.

However, they’ll remain a safer option than any alternative. 

The secret is to choose a reputable password manager such as NordPass.

This ensures your passwords are encrypted before being locked into the NordPass vault. The only way into the vault is with the master password. 

The good news is you only need one master password. That’s only one password to remember and you are the only one that knows it. 

That’s the predominant reason to choose a reputable manager like NordPass.

Encryption means a cybercriminal still can’t see the password even if they steal the data.

No one can unlock the encryption except for you, as you are the only one that knows the password. 

It’s not saved on the servers, only on your local device. 

In short, you’re the only one that can access or see the passwords, even the password manager can’t read them!

You will need to choose between a local password manager and a cloud-based option. T

he local is impossible to hack, especially if it’s not connected to the internet.

However, this can be an issue if you’re out, need to access a password, and don’t have the specific device with you.  

Cloud-based is the most practical option and comes with an array of additional protection, such as dark web monitoring and automated backup. 

It’s still the safest option, especially if your password manager allows you to use biometrics as the master password. 

Why You Need A Password Manager

Every app and user account you create needs a password to grant access.

This protects your data and stops others from messing with your account. 

For the passwords to be effective they must be strong, which means at least 12 characters long.

They should be made up of lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. 

However, if you have just ten online accounts and each one has a different password, you’re going to struggle to remember them all.

In reality many people have upward of 50 accounts. 

That’s why some people re-use the same password or make a note of all their passwords on a Word file or similar.

Some people even write them all in a password book. 

Of course, if someone finds the paper or the file they will know all your passwords. 

That’s why you need to use a password manager. It gives you a secure place to store all your passwords and protects them from others accessing them. 

More importantly, a good password manager comes with extras, such as a password generator and reminder system.

The password generator creates passwords for you. 

It’s possible to specify the length and types of characters used, allowing it to create a usable password.

This approach also means that the passwords are completely random, making them much harder to hack. 

The reminder system effectively tells you when your passwords need to be changed.

You’ll need to tell the system how often you want to change a password or when the app asks for it to be changed.

The password manager will then remind you to create a new password. 

Changing your passwords regularly is an effective way to mitigate any issues pertaining to a data breach.

After all, if someone has stolen all the data but you’ve already changed your password then the password they’ve stolen is of no use.

Your accounts will stay secure. 

Statistics About Passwords You Need to Know

1. Cases Of Identity Theft Have Doubled Since The Global Pandemic

The global pandemic forced people to work at home. It was the safest way to keep businesses operating and people employed.

However, most businesses weren’t geared up for remote working. That meant they needed to quickly adapt.

Related:  Meta Users: How Many Users Does Meta Have in 2024?

The focus was on getting people working as opposed to ensuring the security of the connections. 

Naturally, this created plenty of opportunities for cybercriminals. While some cybercrime was reduced, physical crime increased, specifically car thefts. 

As the pandemic officially passed, many people continued to work from home.

Unfortunately, a lot of businesses didn’t seize the opportunity to tighten online security. Instead, they focused on giving the best connections possible. 

In short, cybercriminals found it easier than ever to hack a password because the usual security wasn’t there to prevent the hack from happening. 

The result, according to a survey by Security.org, is a doubling in the number of people that have been victims of identity theft. 

(Security.org)

2. One In Five US Citizens Use Password Managers

Password Managers

One in five, or 20% of Americans isn’t the biggest number, compared to the 80% of US citizens that don’t use a password manager.

However, 20% of people are better than none!

To put it in numbers, out of a population of over 336 million, just 45 million people use password managers. 

Convenience and a lack of trust is often cited as the reason for these figures.

The truth is a good password manager costs money and recording your passwords on paper costs nothing. 

Of course, if your piece of paper is stolen then you lose all your passwords…

(Security.org)

3. 84% Of Password Manager Users Have Them On Their Cell Phone

In recent years there has been a dramatic shift toward mobile technology. More people now access the internet from their cell phones than via a desktop. 

This trend is why you see people staring at smartphones wherever they are.

A smartphone is a mini-computer that can give you access to everything across the globe. 

Of course, as an internet access point, your cellphone also needs protection.

You need a firewall and associated virus and malware protection. It also makes sense to use your phone to access your password manager. 

An impressive 84% of people that use password managers use them via their smartphones.

(Security.org)

4. 65% Of People Don’t Trust Password Managers

If you have twenty or more unique passwords it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to remember them all.

In short, you need a technique to help you remember. 

The simplest approach is a good password manager. However, a recent survey showed that 65% of US residents don’t trust a password manager

The distrust is due to all their passwords being in one place.

A cybercriminal may not be able to unencrypt the passwords but they can take the whole file and keep trying to unencrypt it.

This fear, combined with actual data breaches, such as the massive data breach suffered by LastPass in 2021, persuades people that password managers can’t be trusted. 

The LastPass data breach moved them from the most popular password manager to the fourth most popular.

That’s despite the fact no encrypted passwords were accessed.

It damaged the fragile trust in password managers but should be considered a blip. It’s still the safest way to store all your passwords. 

(Password Manager/ YouGov)

5. Approximately 58% Of The US Population Has Experienced A Data Breach

Having your personal data stolen is a terrible experience. The simple truth is using online apps is essential in the modern world.

However, every time you use an app and save passwords, you’re trusting a third party to look after your information. 

It’s almost inevitable that someone will slip up and the hackers will be waiting to seize the opportunity. 

This is the main reason a whopping 58% of people in the US have experienced a data breach. 

The real question is what data is lost? By using a password manager you’ll have strong passwords and a data breach is only likely to affect one account.

That’s a lot less hassle for you.

(Password Manager/ YouGov)

6. 85% Of People Know Re-using A Password Is Risky

Password Managers

If a hacker manages to get your password they will use it to unlock the designated account.

They can then disrupt your account or steal personal and financial information. If the password fits a bank account they can even steal money. 

They will then attempt to use the password with any other accounts with your username.

If you’ve re-used a password, or a close variant of one, they will be able to get into the account. 

The password will then be available to other hackers via the dark web. In other words, if you use it again in the future cybercriminals are likely to hack your account. 

That means a lot more data will be compromised. It’s the main reason you should never reuse a password or share it across accounts. 

The worst part of this is that 85% of people know that reusing passwords is a risky prospect.

Yet, according to Securitymagazine.com, 53% of people reuse the same password across multiple accounts!

(Password Manager/ YouGov)

Summing Up

Are password managers safe to use? Yes, a password manager is the safest way to store passwords, allowing you to have strong and unique passwords for every app you use.

It means a successful attack by a cybercriminal will only get them into one of your accounts. 

There are plenty of password managers on the market, some are even free.

However, we recommend NordPass because it has got an excellent reputation, is secure, and allows biometric authentication. 

At the moment, cybercriminals have been unable to bypass biometric authentication, making this one of the most secure ways to store your valuable passwords.

Choosing a password manager that incorporates biometrics is the best option for individuals and businesses. 

Sources

CyberNewsForbesPassword Manager
SecuritySecurity Magazine
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Written by Kelly Indah
I’m the editor at Increditools and a dedicated cybersecurity expert with a robust technical background. With over a decade’s experience in the tech industry, I have worn many hats, from software developer to security analyst.