Over the past few weeks there have been an increasing amount of stories around video conferencing apps and software getting hacked. One of the biggest breaches has been of Zoom, which has had over 530,000 accounts sold on the dark web and across hacking forums. In this case, this data was able to be stolen because the passwords has already been compromised in other data breaches.
This is a big reminder to use obscure passwords, don't use the same one twice and to change them often. But when so many apps and accounts need a password, this quickly becomes a pain in the arse. And this is why password managers exist, and these are some of the best ones.
This week it was discovered that over 500,000 compromised Zoom accounts have been sold on the Dark Web and other hacker forums. As it turns out the majority of the passwords were old and had been previously breached. This serves as a reminder to update your passwords.
What Is A Password Manager?
A password manager is at its essence a password storage system. You can store all of your passwords for all your different apps, accounts and platforms in one place so you don't have to remember them. It's a very good way to break the bad habit of using the same password for everything and/or never changing your passwords.
All good password managers will also offer other services such as bulk password changing, password audits (for example - if a password is too weak or has been compromised), two-factor authentication and secure files storage.
Best All Round Password Managers
At the moment Dashlane is probably the best all round password manager out there. It works across Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS as well as multiple browsers.
It also gives the option for biometric login and has a pretty decent free tier. Of course, the best features unlock when you pay a bit of cash - this includes the ability to bulk change passwords, use unlimited devices and passwords, unlimited accounts and activate dark web monitoring and alerts.
Here's a list of what you get with the free account:
- Up to 50 passwords
- 1 device
- Form & payment autofill
- Securely share up to 5 accounts
- Personalised security alerts
- Two-factor authentication
- + Free 30-day trial of Premium
If you want to go for the paid version it will set you back $5 a month.
Another great and well rounded password manager is 1Password. It's available across on devices, operating systems and browsers and allows data syncing between those different points of entry.
Another huge plus is its Watchtower functionality. This essentially adds an extra layer of password hygiene by looking out for weak or duplicate passwords, as well as looking out for compromised accounts and alerting you to websites that don't have two-factor authentication or unsecured HTTP.
Here's a list of what you get with a basic account, which costs $5 a month:
- Apps for Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and Chrome OS
- Unlimited passwords, items, and 1 GB document storage
- Friendly 24/7 email support
- 365 day item history to restore deleted passwords
- Travel Mode to safely cross borders
- Two-factor authentication for an extra layer of protection
If you want to add more people you can pay $8 a month for a family account that starts with 5 people per household.
Best Password Manager For Security
If you're looking for something with hardcore security features, Keeper might be the right choice for you. However, you can't easily login with a PIN or anything else so easily breachable. You either need to use a biometric login or enter a master password every time you want to access it.
It unfortunately doesn't have a free tier, but $4 a month gets you:
- Unlimited Password Storage
- Unlimited Identity & Payments
- Fingerprint & Face ID Login
- Unlimited Devices & Sync
- Secure Record Sharing
- Emergency Access
- Web Application
- 24/7 Support
If this is all you're interested in you can get largely the same service from LastPass, but with the added hectic login requirements. The real drawcard for Keeper is the added security you get with the Max Bundle which gives you all of the above as well as Dark web monitoring and secure file storage.
This tier also unlocks Keeper Chat - a private messaging service that comes with Unlimited Message Retraction and Unlimited Self-Destructs.
Best Free Password Manager
LastPass is a great tool if you want a robust and easy to use password manager that is also free. Not only that, the free tier gets you some good stuff, like multi factor authentication and the ability to use it across multiple devices.
Here is what the free version gets you:
- A vault for every user
- Access on all devices
- One-to-one sharing
- Save & fill passwords
- Password generator
- Secure notes
- Security challenge
- Multi-factor Authentication
- LastPass Authenticator
If you want to bump it up to paid version, $4.22 a month gets you some extra goodies like 1GB of encrypted storage. Unfortunately you have to go to a family plan if you want more than one user.