Everything, including our computers, mobile devices, and online accounts, is secured by passwords these days.
All of us are aware that creating strong passwords is essential for our account safety. Almost all the websites and platforms out there that require us to create a password also guide us on the password’s strength.
But what about storing those passwords?
An average individual has to manage tens of passwords daily for both official and personal needs. So, we can’t rely just on our memory muscles to remember all our passwords.
Well, you might be thinking about writing down your passwords on a sheet of paper or maybe saving them in a notepad file on your computer or smartphone.
First of all, writing down our passwords on paper and carrying them around isn’t logically possible. Also, saving the passwords on an ordinary text file in our personal devices increases the risk of compromised password data if our devices penetrate.
So, what else can be done?
In this article, we will look at the best ways to store passwords securely and efficiently.
Where is it Safe to Store Passwords?
How do you consider storage as safe for your passwords?
Below are some key points to keep in mind before you choose a storage mechanism for your passwords.
1. Your Password Must Be Stored as Encrypted Text:
Regardless of the mechanism, you choose to store passwords. If the password is stored as plain text (the actual password text), anyone who can access your password storage can easily access your passwords.
The best way to avoid this is by masking your password using an encryption technique. Most password storage services encrypt the plain text password before storing it in their databases.
Thus, even if hackers get access to the password, it will be difficult to deduce the plain password text.
2. The Storage Service Provider Must Not Be Able to Read Your Passwords:
While using any services/applications online to store your passwords, you are relying on the storage facility provided by a third party.
Hence, such a third party mustn’t be able to read your plain text password. Once you enter a password to be saved, only the encrypted text must reach the service provider’s database for storage.
3. Your Saved Passwords Must be Protected by a Master Password:
The best storage service for passwords is the one that offers additional protection for your data by adding a master password to your account.
This way, you only get access to your passwords if you enter the master password. Thus, all your passwords can be saved in a single secure account without any hassle.
What Are the Best Ways to Store Passwords Safely?
Below we have listed out some of the best ways to store passwords safely, instead of using pen and paper.
1. Use a Password Manager Service:
Password managers are software services that help you create strong & complex passwords. Modern password manager services also offer to store all your passwords within your personal account.
You can access all your saved passwords across all the devices you use. The passwords are usually encrypted using the latest algorithms before storing them in the password manager’s database, thus offering you additional protection.
2. Use Your Browser’s Password Manager:
Web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc. offering built-in password management services.
Once you login to your browser-based account, you can then choose to save new passwords as you enter them while logging in via the same browser.
Again, all the saved passwords are also synced across all supported devices, and you can access them by logging into your personal account. However, password management that is built-in to web browsers often provides less-than-ideal security to your stored passwords.
3. Store Passwords in a Password-Protected File:
If you do not wish to use a third-party service to store your passwords, you can opt to create a text file within your computer containing all your password details and then protect the file using a password.
This works like secure password storage as you need to enter the master password to the document file to access the saved passwords. However, this is not recommended as your sensitive data is not encrypted.
How Can You Further Improve Password Security?
Generating complex passwords and storing them securely are two effective ways to ensure the security of your online accounts.
However, there are many more things you can do to keep your online accounts safe from hackers.
To begin, make sure to change your passwords frequently, at least twice a year.
You also need to ensure that the same password isn’t used across multiple accounts. Strictly restrict one password to just one account.
Finally, always stay updated about the latest threats and security breaches happening in the digital space. Staying updated will help you identify security risks to your account.