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What’s the best way to store passwords?

5th October 2022
We live in a world where passwords are everything. We need them to login to our banking apps, social media accounts, dating apps and for so many other important aspects of our online life. But, with all these different passwords, what is the best way to manage them, and to store them? Keep reading for the answers, and we'd love it if you gave this article a share!

Why is password security important?

Hackers. It really is that simple. Hackers want your passwords for a variety of sinister reasons, including:

To steal your identity

Once a hacker obtains your passwords, especially to your banking apps or your HMRC account etc., they have the potential to gain highly personal information, which they can use to pretend to be you to steal your money or take out loans and credit cards in your name.

To take control of your online accounts

Another way hackers use stolen passwords, is to take over your accounts, such as your social media accounts, where they can then message your contacts, extort money or set up scams, all in your name – something that could be a complete disaster if the account is linked to your business.

To steal your money

When an experienced hacker gets hold of your bank or building society password, they work fast, and know how to bypass the bank or building societies security. So, before you even know you’ve been hacked, the hacker could be happily booking their next holiday on you.

Should you store your passwords externally?

Yes, storing your passwords externally is a good a idea, and there are a few ways you could do it, including:

On your browser

All the major browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari include a password management tool, but there are a few disadvantages to using the browser method, including:

  • If you leave your browser open in a public place, it’s not difficult for someone to find all your stored passwords, as we show in our blog post ‘How to find all your forgotten passwords’.
  • If you regularly swap browsers, you’ll have to switch back and fourth to retrieve your passwords.
  • Browser password managers aren’t that great at generating strong passwords, and don’t always provide a customizing option.

Password manager apps

Password manager apps are a great way to store and retrieve passwords, but make sure to shop around and get recommendations, and also remember there are some pros and cons in this method, including:

Pros of a password manager app

  • Reputable password manager apps, such as Keeper, Last Pass or Dashlane, offer secure storage, and work on most devices
  • Password manager apps often provide a free option and paid options, that include a family plan
  • Good password manager apps specialise in generating strong passwords

Cons of a password manager app

  • You will need a strong master password, so be creative
  • Some password manager apps can have glitches and sometimes lock you out
  • You have to choose carefully and be prepared to pay a small fee for the better ones.

How NOT to store your passwords

Now you know some of the best ways to store your passwords, here are 3 ways you definitely shouldn’t be storing your passwords.

  • One a spreadsheet or document – It might sound like a good idea, but passwords to apps such as Word or Excel can be hacked relatively easy using tools such as keystroke loggers, and once a hacker gets access they gain access to all your other sensitive data.

  • On your smartphone – Similar to storing your passwords on a document on your computer, storing passwords on a note on your smartphone is open to being hacked, and also depends on the strength of your phone security.

  • On paper – There are a couple of problems with this method of storing passwords, including:

  • Paper tends to get lost, thrown away or destroyed

  • It’s not that difficult for a paper list to get into the wrong hands, such as a burglar, or an untrustworthy flat mate etc.

Contact us

If you’d like any help with your business cyber security strategy, contact JamCrackers, either via our website contact form, by email at info@jamcrackers.co.uk or by phone on 0800 955 8041 (during working hours) to speak to one of our cyber security experts.

PLEASE NOTE: JamCrackers has no affiliation with any companies mentioned in this blog post and takes no responsibility for your actions on external websites.