A Quick Introduction To Password Managers
In the modern age of digital security, online accounts have become a constant and crucial part of our lives. We’re logging into something.
A few years ago, research showed that the average person had about 150 online accounts, and estimated that to increase to about 300 by 2022.
With the increasing number of accounts we create, it is more and more challenging to manage all the usernames and passwords. Now, the modern tech-savvy, cyber security-aware person uses a password manager to do that for them.
In 2023, the need for a secure and efficient password manager has become more critical than ever before.
As corporate data breaches are on the rise, our passwords may be stolen directly from companies we register our accounts with. If your passwords have been stolen in a data-breach, the hackers can gain access to any online accounts that you used the same passwords on.
Password managers not only help protect your online accounts but but help you avoid password reuse and to create complex passwords that nobody will guess, thwart brute-force attacks, and store other sensitive personal information such as credit cards, bank information, and encryption keys.
So, let’s dive into the world of password managers and explore how they can help you protect your online presence.
The Benefit of Password Managers On Your Mobile Device
But, password managers are not just for your desktop. Sure, we need to have good cyber security in our homes and office, but in 2023, we need to have good cyber security to go too.
You didn’t predict that you were going to need to know your online banking password when you were out at the gym or movie theatre, but you did!
Password managers are incredibly useful on mobile devices, for when we travel just down the street to the grocery store, or to far corners of the globe.
Password managers provide convenience and enhanced security for mobile users as we navigate an increasingly complex world.
Here are the typical ways that password managers on our mobile devices benefit our daily lives:
With a password manager installed on your mobile device, you don’t have to worry about typing in your passwords every time you log in to an app or website. The password manager can auto-fill your login credentials for you, saving you time and effort.
Syncing across devices
Any good password manager offers syncing between all devices. So, your passwords and other sensitive information can be completely accessible on all of your devices, including your mobile devices.
So, traveling down the block or far from home, for business or pleasure, you can certainly have secure access to all your passwords for different devices or accounts.
Generating strong passwords
Another core function of a password manager is to generate strong, unique passwords for you whenever you need one. Don’t use your pet’s name or your mom’s birthday anymore – because you don’t have to.
Generating random strong passwords is particularly useful on mobile devices because mobile devices are already less convenient for typing. So, if you’re creating a new account on your mobile device, definitely use your mobile password manager to generate a strong password for you on the spot.
Storing other sensitive information
In addition to passwords, password managers can also store other sensitive information, such as credit card details or personal identification numbers. This can be particularly useful on mobile devices, where you may need to access this information while on the go.
In fact, password managers are not only for highly secure secrets. They can also store notes that just need a little more security than your average note-taking app.
Sure, you could try to put your information into a note-taking app, but why not a note-taking app that’s highly secure?
Overall, password managers provide a convenient and secure way to manage your passwords and other sensitive information on mobile devices, helping to protect your digital identity and personal information.
Security Concerns For Password Managers On Mobile Devices
So, password managers are designed to enhance security, but there are definitely still some security concerns that we need to be aware of when using a password manager.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to using a mobile password manager securely:
Downloading from trusted sources
Just like other types of apps, password managers should only be downloaded from trusted sources.
Firstly, this means using the official app store for iOS and Android devices to ensure that you’re downloading a legitimate, secure app and not a fake or malicious version.
The fact is that malware apps have even made it into the official app stores! So, not only do you need to go to the official app store, but you need to consider whether you trust the developer.
For most of us, that means sticking to apps developed by companies with a long-standing history of good security that have a high number of user’s, finally, a high user rating on the app store.
Strong and convenient authentication
It’s also best to choose a password manager that uses strong authentication methods. A good password manager would ideally have not only strong password-based authentic mechanisms but also biometric authentication (e.g. fingerprint or face recognition).
We all know how frustrating it is to type in our password into a mobile phone and biometrics saves us from having to do this too often. A password that supports a hardware token for additional multi-factor authentication is also a step above when it comes to security.
Not only do we need a high degree of security to ensure that only you can access your passwords and other sensitive information, but convenience also sets the standard for a good password manager.
A good password manager should use strong encryption to protect your data. Look for a password manager that uses industry-standard encryption algorithms and has been independently audited for security.
Does the company that develops the password manager have any additional IT security certifications like ISO-27001 or the NIST Cyber Security Framework?
These certifications attest to the company’s dedication to security and are also evidence that they conform to strong encryption standards.
Software developers do their best, but it’s a complicated field and even the best heroes make mistakes. So make sure to keep your password manager app up to date with the latest security patches and updates just in case a vulnerability is found in the app you are using. This goes for both Android OS updates and individual app updates. This helps to ensure that any security vulnerabilities are addressed promptly.
Be cautious of phishing scams
Of course, you still have to be cautious of phishing scams! Hackers may try to trick you into revealing your password manager credentials through phishing scams.
Which password would be the worst one to lose to a cyber-criminal? Your password manager password, that’s which one!
Also, keep in mind that hackers are really good at making a fake site look legitimate, so always take caution to look at the URL of websites you are linked to. And of course, be extra cautious of emails or text messages that ask you to enter your password manager credentials or click on suspicious links.
By keeping these cyber security points in mind, you can help to ensure that you are using a trusted password manager and staying aware of how important access to your mobile password manager is!
Best Password Managers For Android
OK, now that we know why password managers are critical for our cybersecurity, what additional security concerns to be aware of, and why password managers are an important part of our mobile tech ecosystem, let’s review the best password managers for Android devices.
We can also take this time to evaluate each app including its security features, available licensing models, and pricing. This should give you a better understanding of which password manager app is the best fit for your needs and offers the best protection for your online security.
Keeper Password Manager For Android
Keeper Password Manager is available on the Google Play Store and has over 100,000 downloads with a 4.5-star rating. These all point to the fact that it is a reputable and quality app.
Like most password managers, Keeper uses a master password as the primary authentication method but also supports biometric authentication (e.g. fingerprint or face recognition) on devices that have these features.
This is a nice convenience to prevent entering your password too often and also adds an additional layer of security. Keeper also allows you to import password stores from other password managers and has convenient autofill features that can automatically import passwords from apps the first time you enter it or join.
On the back end, Keeper uses 256-bit AES encryption, which meets the industry standard for secure strong encryption. The app has also been independently audited for security by third-party experts, which further validates its security.
Although Keeper provides a free plan to users, it comes with limited features that may not fulfill small business or enterprise needs. The free version also allows all users to try out all the features available in the full platform.
Despite this, while no app can guarantee complete security, Keeper Password Manager is a solid choice for anyone looking for a secure way to manage their passwords and other sensitive information.
NordPass For Android
NordPass is a password manager app that is available for both Android and iOS devices, and has been developed by NordVPN, a well-known and trusted VPN service provider.
NordVPN has over 14 million users worldwide, and its parent company, Tefincom & Co., has been in the cybersecurity industry since 2008.
This should give you an added degree of confidence that NordPass is designed and developed by an organization with solid cybersecurity knowledge and skills.
NordPass has over 100,000 downloads on Google Play Store and a 4.5-star rating, so it’s proven to be a popular choice with solid reviews. As an enterprise-level app, NordPass supports biometric authentication on capable devices.
For encryption, NordPass uses XChaCha20 encryption, which is a modern encryption algorithm based on ChaCha20 algorithms that use a 192-bit nonce rather than a 64-bit one.
Sadly, the free version of NordPass is very limited. It doesn’t come with any of the advanced premium features like Password Health and the Data Breach Scanner, and a free account does not sync across devices.
You may also find that NordPass is a little more expensive than competitors. NordPass offers individual plans for business and plans for personal and family. Business plans start at less than $4 per month per user for 250 users with limited features. NordPass full-featured Enterprise business plans include SSO with Microsoft Azure and Active Directory, Okta, and shared cloud drive folders and pricing must be negotiated with the NordPass sales representative.
But as we mentioned with NordPass you are also paying for the solid reputation of an established cybersecurity solution provider.
If you are already a NordVPN user or are looking for a password manager from a well-established cybersecurity company, NordPass is a great option to consider.
1Password For Android
1Password is probably the most popular password manager app with over 1 million downloads from the Android Google Play store. It also has a solid 4.4-star rating, so people are enjoying the app.
1Password also provides a set of unique security features such as Watchtower, which alerts you if any of your passwords have been compromised in a data breach, and an integrated phishing detector to help protect against phishing scams and other security threats.
1Password also has some additional features that allow you to share passwords with family members or team members, making it a great choice for families or small businesses. Additionally, it can store other sensitive information such as credit card information and secure notes.
All of 1Password’s plans come with a 30-day free trial, so you can try out the service before committing to a plan.
Additionally, 1Password offers discounts for annual billing and non-profit organizations. If you are looking for a feature-rich password manager app that prioritizes security, 1Password is a great option to consider.
Zoho Vault For Android
Zoho Vault is a less popular password manager app with just over 50,000 downloads on Google Play Store and a 4.2-star rating. It’s not the most popular but has a solid rating and is also from a company with a long history of producing enterprise-grade business productivity applications that attempt to rival top global cloud solutions such as Gmail, Google Workspace, and others.
Zoho Vault uses multi-factor authentication (MFA) as the primary authentication method and supports biometric authentication on devices that have these features. Zoho Vault uses 256-bit AES, which provides strong, industry-standard encryption.
Zoho Vault provides a feature called “Security Dashboard” that alerts you if any of your passwords have been compromised in a data breach and the app offers an integrated phishing detector to help protect against phishing scams and other security threats.
Zoho Vault’s app also makes it easy to share passwords with team members or colleagues and set access controls and permissions to ensure that only authorized users can access specific passwords or data. This is a great feature that makes Zoho Vault a good choice for families and small businesses.
Zoho Vault licensing is based on the number of users who will be accessing the platform. There are four tiered pricing options available:
- Professional, and
The free version allows up to 5 connected users but it does not include advanced features such as user management, two-factor authentication, and active directory integration. The standard plan allows 100 connected users in the organization and supports features such as two-factor authentication, user management, and secure password sharing.
The Standard plan starts at a very reasonable price of $1 per user per month. Zoho Vault’s Professional plan includes support for Microsoft Active Directory integration, custom roles and permissions, and audit trails. The Professional plan pricing is $4 per user per month. Zoho Vault also offers enterprise-level plans for businesses with more than 500 users, which include additional features such as single sign-on (SSO) and integration with third-party applications.
All of the plans come with a 15-day free trial period allowing you or your organization to test out all the features and functionality of Zoho Vault.
Finally, Zoho Vault’s lack of support for hardware security keys may be a drawback for some users since many organizations with high-security standards use hardware token security as a form of multi-factor authentication for apps with access to sensitive data. Overall, if you are looking for a password manager app with strong security features and team-sharing capabilities, Zoho Vault is worth considering.
Wrapping It Up
Password managers are essential tools for maintaining cybersecurity in the modern digital age. And while desktop password managers have been around for a while, it’s important to recognize the benefits of mobile password managers as well.
With a mobile password manager, you can access your login credentials anytime, anywhere, right from your phone or tablet. Mobile password managers often include additional security features, such as biometric authentication, to help keep your passwords safe and secure.
Most of the top password managers can sync your data across devices, ensuring that your passwords are always up-to-date and available when you need them. And maybe most conveniently, mobile password managers can save the time of having to type a long and complex password by automatically filling in the login information for you, so you don’t have to type out your credentials every time.
So, the benefits of using a mobile password manager for Android have clearly improved security, convenience, and peace of mind knowing that your sensitive information is protected.