Why password managers are safe (and which one you should be using)

Not only do password managers offer the convenience of generating and storing strong, unique passwords, they also make staying safe online easy while promoting good security habits and password safety.

Choosing not to use a password manager is like using the same lock and key combo on every door in the real world – if just one key gets copied or found, anyone can access every aspect of your life.

A secure password manager is also safer than any do-it-yourself solution – no matter how complex that solution may be (and yes, this includes keeping your passwords locked in your mind). When it comes to password safety, a password manager removes the obstacle of creating and remembering secure passwords, managing exposed passwords, and the security risks of password protection.

Are password managers safe?

Password managers are a safe, effective way to enforce password security and protection. While it may seem counterintuitive to keep all of your security eggs in one basket, using a password manager is a much safer option than any alternative. You may ask yourself, “how do password managers work?” How can you be certain that your data is safe and secure? To help you understand what makes a password manager like 1Password safe to use in all areas of your life, let’s first look at the weak alternatives. We’ll start with the least secure option: not using a password manager at all.

The pitfalls of password reuse

If you’re not using a secure password manager of any kind, you eventually have to resort to reusing the same password on multiple websites because it’s impossible to remember a unique and strong password for every single account you have. How many iterations of your childhood street name can you really create?

Every time you reuse a password, you’re faced with the risk of falling victim to a cyberattack. If any site where you’ve used that password is compromised, an attacker will have access to all of your other sites that use that password as well.

Think about it this way: if you use the same password to log in to both your online banking and Netflix accounts, all it takes is a breach at Netflix for your bank account password to be compromised.

The extremes of exposed passwords

Storing passwords in a plain text file on your computer may be one of the most detrimental ways to weaken your password safety. If that file falls into the wrong hands, an attacker will get all of the keys and master passwords to your online landscape with no effort at all.

The same can be said for writing your passwords in a notebook. This non-digitized way of password storage may not be vulnerable to hackers, but it will be a chore to maintain. It’s also much harder to create regular backups of a physical notebook. If the notebook is ever lost or stolen, the consequences would be devastating to your password security.

With identity fraud and emerging scams increasing across the digital space, securing your personal information has never been more important.

How to create your own password management system

Making the decision to keep everything in a password-protected spreadsheet or maintain other encrypted files on your computer may sound secure, but it adds a level of complexity that can cause severe issues.

Additionally, there are a few important questions to consider for your DIY system:

  • How are you accessing your passwords?
  • What happens if you lose your encrypted files?
  • How are you maintaining password security and ensuring password safety?

Even if you manage to include some level of security on your own, the setup and maintenance of your DIY password manager will be extensive. On a large scale, it takes a team of security experts to make sure a system is actually secure against attackers. For a DIY solution, password protection against attacks is never guaranteed.

At this point, it’s tempting to throw your hands up, keep doing what you’ve been doing, and hope for the best. But password manager safety doesn’t have to be this hard. There is a better way.

Start using a safe password manager

Using a dedicated password manager is the safest and most convenient option when compared to alternatives like spreadsheets, notebooks, and using your browser’s built-in password manager. Browser password managers are still very limited in their benefits and may be less secure than a dedicated password manager. That said, using a built-in browser password manager is better than nothing, but:

  • Built-in browser password managers are limited to that specific browser, meaning you can’t use a different browser or sync your passwords on your phone, at work, or on any other device.
  • Many browser password managers only store passwords, meaning you can’t store other items like secure notes, sensitive documents, credit cards, and more.
  • You can’t safely and conveniently share passwords with your family or colleagues
  • If you lose access to your passwords you might not be able to recover them on another device, or recover your account via a family or team member.

There are three key benefits of investing in a password manager:

  • Easy, simple, and safe access to all of your accounts
  • Unparalleled password safety and protection against cyberattacks
  • Secure password manager for all devices, with end-to-end encryption

Contrary to popular belief, password managers don’t necessarily have full access to your data. For example, 1Password doesn’t have access to anything you enter in the password manager. Our layers of security allow you to quickly and easily generate unique passwords for every site – with reassurance that everything is strongly encrypted.

Our responsibility at 1Password is to provide you with optimal password manager safety, without having to create a secure system yourself.

What is the most secure password manager?

With no single point of failure, advanced end-to-end encryption, and a hack-free bill of health, 1Password is undoubtedly the most secure password manager out there. With 1Password, you only need to remember a single Account Password, which gives you immediate access to all of your private data. Additionally, all information is encrypted on your device before it’s ever sent to our servers. The data remains encrypted in transit and at rest on our servers. Your Account Password is never transmitted across the Internet, which means that it never leaves your devices.

The difference between 1Password and other password managers is the use of a unique 128-bit Secret Key for every account. When you sign up for 1Password, a Secret Key is generated on your own device. It’s combined with your Account Password to encrypt your data.

Just like your Account Password, your Secret Key is never sent to our servers, so hackers wouldn’t have the two keys required to access your information – even if they had access to the servers. For a deeper dive into the details of our advanced security methods, take a look at our 1Password Security Design white paper.

What is the most convenient password manager?

All of the security in the world doesn’t matter if a password manager doesn’t actually make your life easier. That’s why we focused on making 1Password not only the most secure, but also the most convenient password manager around. When you use 1Password, you’ll find that it:

  • Works on all of your devices. Have a Mac and a PC? No problem. 1Password is also available for iOS, Android, Linux, and Chrome OS.
  • Works in all your browsers. Want to use Safari at home and Chrome at work? 1Password is everywhere you need your passwords.
  • Saves you time. 1Password fills passwords, addresses, and credit cards, so you never have to type them by hand.
  • Alerts you to password breaches. Find out about security issues on sites where you have accounts, so you can take action.
  • Stores more than just passwords. 1Password also keeps track of your bank accounts, Wi-Fi networks, and more.
  • Keeps your documents safe. Store files of all kinds in 1Password. This is great for scans of passports, medical records, receipts, and other files you want to keep safe.
  • Helps you share what’s necessary. You can easily share specific information with others, like your team at work or family at home.

If you ever need to end your 1Password subscription, we use open data formats that allow you to import and export your data at any given time. Your information is always accessible to you, and we want to make sure that you’re always the one in control of it.

A truly safe and secure password manager

To guarantee the most secure experience possible, we’ve designed 1Password so that it’s impossible to collect your most sensitive data. These conveniences are built on a solid foundation of our commitment to you, your data, and your privacy. For additional safety, we don’t allow 1Password to see which sites you visit, when you visit them, or what your logins are.

That’s your business, not ours.

Discover why 1Password is loved by millions

For all the reasons above and more, 1Password is loved by security experts, tech reviewers, and people just like you. They agree that it’s the most secure and convenient choice to ensure password safety. 1Password is also purpose-built to protect your privacy.

But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what our amazing customers have to say:

“Having looked at a number of competitors, and comparing them I can say that 1Password is still the most well-rounded password manager on the market.” — The Sweet Setup

“1Password…combines an ease of use that reduces the friction of using secure passwords with the tools needed to manage them and ensure your logins always remain secure.” — MacStories

“1Password is one of the best ways to store and manage all of your passwords…” — The Verge

“1Password…requires fewer clicks or keypresses to accomplish a task, like generating a new password or finding an existing login, than the competitors do.” — Joe Kissell, author of Take Control of 1Password

See why over thousands of users, families, and businesses consider 1Password as the most secure password manager available. Get started with a free trial today.

Editor’s note: This article was last updated on November 12th, 2021.

Oliver Haslam

Word Wrangler

Oliver Haslam - Word Wrangler Oliver Haslam - Word Wrangler

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