Can password managers be hacked? Sure, there is some risk with password managers, but there is risk with almost every method for passwords and authentication on the Internet.
To answer this question, it’s useful to consider password managers in relation to the alternatives, and pick the best method that is relatively secure but also usable for you.
With a password manager, you’re getting a much better security level than reusing the same passwords, using weak passwords or saving passwords on your web browser. Password managers are designed with multiple layers of security to prevent being hacked.
Here are reasons why password managers are highly protected from getting hacked:
- Password managers rely on the assumption that the computer you are using the password manager from is secure, and that you won’t open your password database if the system you are on is not safe. If the computer you use the database from is safe, and the password safe software isn’t buggy, then they give you a relatively strong amount of security with a good amount of usability.
- Well known password managers have been pretty heavily vetted by security professionals. Password managers use encryption to protect your passwords, an encryption referred to as AES 256-bit. It is the industry standard, and also used by the military because of its exceptional strength.
- Password managers also use zero-knowledge architecture.This means they are designed so that your passwords and data are encrypted before they leave your device. After the encryption is applied, your data is stored on the password manager company’s server. That way, you can access your passwords from multiple devices, wherever you log into your password manager account.
- Many password managers also use a master password, which you can make even more secure by adding two-factor authentication (2FA) to log into your account. Using 2FA, you would log into your password manager with the master password and then verifying your identity with a second method. The second method could be with a PIN, or a facial scan, a thumbprint or other biometric authentication methods.
As with any activity you do online, there’s no way to be 100% secure. There are several risks with using password managers. One risk is having all of your passwords in one location. On one hand, it is more efficient and convenient. On the other hand, if your password manager company’s servers became compromised, your data could be lost. To mitigate that risk, you can regularly take a backup of all of your data and save in another location.
Also, if your computer or device becomes infected with malware, a hacker could exploit your data through phishing other other methods. This could happen with any device when you are using it online, whether you have a password manager or not. Keeping your device clean from malware, avoiding opening suspicious files and avoiding using public WIFI can reduce the risk of this happening.
In conclusion, a password manager is very unlikely to be hacked, and is one of the most secure solutions for preventing your data from being exposed.