We’ve talked repeatedly about the importance of password managers. Having a different password for each of your accounts is important, because if a hacker gets ahold of one password, it won’t affect every private account you own. However, keeping track of all those passwords can be a doozy, which is why password managers are so helpful.
Passkeys are starting to gain more and more steam, and some of you might be wondering whether you should ditch your password managers altogether. Let’s dive into why passkeys are so useful and how you can use both.
What is a passkey?
Representatives from Apple, Google and Microsoft collaborated with FIDO Alliance to conceive the concept of a passkey. With passkeys, you can sign in to apps and websites with a biometric sensor, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition, PIN or pattern, freeing you from having to remember and manage passwords.
A passkey consists of a key pair. One key is public, registered with the website or app you’re using. The other key is private, held only by your devices. Think of it like this; a passkey is like having a pair of keys. One key is like a special code that everyone can know and use, and it’s registered with the website or app you’re using. The other key is like a secret key that only your devices have, and it’s not shared with anyone else.
With passkeys, you can sign in to apps and websites with a biometric sensor, such as a fingerprint or facial recognition, PIN, or pattern, freeing you from having to remember and manage passwords. (FIDO Alliance)
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Furthermore, passkeys let you sync across all your devices using a cloud service. The cloud service (iCloud, Google, etc.) keeps a copy of your credential, offering an easier way for you to log into your accounts wherever you are.
Apple introduced the idea of passkeys with its latest iOS 16 update, allowing iPhone users to save their login information when signing in to an account and then using Face ID to be able to log back in again later.
Along with Apple, earlier this month, Google also began rolling out support for passkeys across Google Accounts on all major platforms.
Should I stop using my password manager?
No, you should not stop using your password manager just yet. First, passkeys are a very new concept, and not every website accepts them yet. So, abandoning your password manager altogether would not be the best idea right now.
Besides this key reason, password managers are still the safest and most secure way to keep track of all your passwords. First, it will help you to create unique and difficult-to-crack passwords that a hacker could never guess. Second, it also keeps track of all your passwords in one place and fills passwords in for you when you’re logging into an account so that you never have to remember them yourself. The fewer passwords you remember, the less likely you will be to reuse them for your accounts.
What qualities should I look for in a password manager?
Apple and Google began rolling out passkeys. (Apple)
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When it comes to choosing the best password manager for you, here are some of my top tips.
- Deploys secure
- Works seamlessly across all of your devices
- Creates unique complicated passwords that are different for every account
- Automatically populates login and password fields for apps and sites you revisit
- Has a browser extension for all browsers you use to automatically insert passwords for you
- Allows a failsafe in case the primary password is ever lost or forgotten
- Checks that your existing passwords remain safe and alerts you if ever compromised
- Uses two-factor authentication security
- Check out my best expert-reviewed password managers of 2023 by clicking here.
Password managers are still the safest and most secure way to keep track of all your passwords. (Google)
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What else can I do to protect myself?
Checking your existing passwords and using a two-factor authentication security will help password security. (Cyberguy.com)
Be sure to install antivirus software that will protect you from accidentally clicking malicious links that would install malware, as well as remove any existing malware from your devices.
- See my expert review of the best antivirus protection for your Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices by visiting CyberGuy.com/LockUpYourTech.
- Turn on 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)
- Keep your software and operating systems updated to better ensure you have the latest security patches.
Make sure it’s difficult for anyone to easily log into any of your accounts. 2FA is just an extra shield that will prevent a hacker from getting into your accounts.
Installing antivirus software will protect you from accidentally clicking malicious links that would install malware, as well as remove any existing malware from your devices. (CyberGuy.com)
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Have you tried using Passkeys yet? How do you feel about them vs. your password manager? Let us know by writing us at CyberGuy.com/Contact.
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Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life better with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business beginning mornings on “FOX & Friends.” Got a tech question? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.