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Explains what password managers are and provides information on several options.

What is a password manager and why should I use one?

We have all heard the advice to use a unique, complex passwords for each site we visit and service we use. This quickly leads to password overload - no one can memorize that many unique passwords! Password management applications are designed to take the pain out of managing and remembering all your passwords. Instead of remembering many passwords, you just need to remember the one password for your password manager (of course, it is extremely important that the one password for your password manager is unique, long, and complex.)

Password Management Options

Browser based

The most basic kind of password manager is your browser, you may already be using it. All modern browsers will offer to save a password for you. Browser based password managers are not the most robust or secure option but can work for many people whose needs are simple. When you save a login in your browser they are encrypted and saved locally to your computer. However, by default, they do not require a password to access your saved information. Anyone with access to your computer can easily open your browser password list and read all of your passwords. These passwords are also vulnerable to malware attacks.

Built in web browser password managers can also be limiting when you need to use multiple browsers to access different services, or need to access your passwords from multiple computers or mobile devices. They also are not great at storing other secure information such as insurance information or secure notes.

Pros

    • Automatically enabled in your browser of choice
    • Simple to get started with

Cons

    • Only works in one browser
    • Can sync across devices, but support on different platforms is uneven
    • Interfaces are not that great
    • Difficult to backup and move to new systems

Click on the icon for your browser below to see how you can manage passwords with that browser.

Google IconFirefox

1Password

The college has purchased a subscription to one of the best dedicated password management applications available - 1Password for teams. 1Password securely syncs your passwords across your computers and mobile devices ensuring you always have quick, secure access to all your passwords. It also has an excellent interface for accessing and managing those passwords. Additionally for Geneseo users, 1Password has robust sharing for managing passwords for services that you share with your team, such as departmental email accounts, external website logins, and social media accounts.

Please visit our article 1Password For Teams for more information on 1Password for teams at Geneseo.

Other Password Managers

If you are looking for a personal password manager or do not have access to 1Password check out this article from Wirecutter: The Best Password Managers to find a password manager that will work for you.

More Help

For questions, contact the CIT HelpDesk by calling (585) 245-5588, or visiting our online service desk.