Nowadays, there are many tips going around on the Internet that can tell us how to create the perfect passwords that will least likely be guessed by those pesky scammers. However, one of the most well-known tips on creating passwords is to come up with a different one with each website you go on. Since everyone relies the most on Internet accounts to help govern their life, most people have to remember many different passwords if they want to follow good password-making tips. Because of this, there are many password managers being advertised across the web, which might be leaving you to wonder this one lingering question: are password managers safe? In this article, we find out.
Are Password Managers Safe?
For the most part, password managers are safe to use but there are some risks when using a password manager program. It is possible that a hacker or scammer could access the password manager program, but it is highly unlikely that it would happen to an individual unless you have a lot of value. Hackers are more interested in hacking onto a high-class person’s computer or a business system rather than an average person’s computer.
Zero-Knowledge Security System
However, if a password managing business was ever hacked in a data breach, your password is still safe. With a password manager, you can enable two-factor authentication, and they also have a “zero-knowledge” security system set up within your account.
With the zero-knowledge security system, the password manager downloaded onto your computer but the company that manufactured the program doesn’t. This means that if a password manager company was hacked, your passwords would still be safe unless your computer was hacked.
Password Managers Are Known to Help With Phishing Scams
If you think you clicked on a phishing link from a suspicious message or email and it tells you to enter your account information, try to fill out the form using your password manager. If the password manager automatically fills out the information for you, then you know it’s not a fake website since the password manager knows what website it is on.
However, if you try to fill out your information using the password manager and it doesn’t automatically fill out the information for you, then chances are you are on a fake website and should close out of it immediately.
Things to Watch Out For When Using a Password Manager
A scammer could send out an email, claiming that your password manager was hacked and they need to “verify your information” on your account. With the email, there is a phishing link that directs you onto a fake website that looks legit and contains a form for you to fill out.
The form asks for all the information needed to access your password manager account, including two-factor authentication codes, your account information, and any other security key needed. Once they have this information, they could hack into your password manager and steal all your passwords.
Hackers Hacking Into Your Computer
A hacker can trick you into letting them onto your computer using malware downloaded onto your device via phishing links emailed to you. Once you click the link, the malware downloads onto your computer and allows for the hacker to control your computer. They can click on all of your personal files to find out your personal information.
While the hacker can’t access your password manager without your passwords, they can still sift through your computer for security vulnerabilities. If the program has a vulnerability, it is possible that your passwords could be leaked through text files on your computer.
What to Do if a Hacker Gains Access to Your Passwords
- Change all your passwords immediately. This may be a long process, but there is no telling which of your passwords the hacker has. If you change all of your stored passwords, you have peace of mind that the hacker will not be able to access your personal information.
- Don’t give anyone your password manager information. It doesn’t matter if the email or message looks like it’s someone from the password manager company. If someone is reaching out to you claiming that, then this is a major red flag that they could be a scammer.
- Avoid clicking on links emailed to you. These could be phishing links that are able to download malware onto your computer to steal your information. If you have a password manager stored on your computer, this may mean that the hacker could access this information too.
- Report the scam to the FTC. They are able to use your reported scam as a resource to help put an end to all scams. Make sure to report any scam email addresses or phone numbers that were used during the scam.
Are Password Managers Safe?: Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you think you’ve been a victim of your password manager getting hacked.