What is a Password Manager?

A password manager is a software application that helps users store, generate, and manage complex passwords for their online accounts. The primary purpose of a password manager is to increase the security and convenience of password management for users by storing their passwords in a secure encrypted vault.

With a password manager, users only need to remember one master password to access all of their other passwords. The password manager automatically fills in the correct usernames and passwords for the user when they access websites or applications, eliminating the need for users to remember multiple passwords or write them down.

Password managers use advanced encryption algorithms to store passwords, so even if the password manager is hacked, the passwords are not accessible without the master password.

Additionally, many password managers also have features such as two-factor authentication, which adds an extra layer of security to the master password.

Password managers can also generate complex and unique passwords for each of the user's accounts, which is important because using the same password for multiple accounts increases the risk of a security breach. By using unique passwords, users can minimize the risk of a security breach, even if one of their accounts is hacked.

Some popular password managers include LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane. These password managers are available as browser extensions, standalone applications, or mobile apps, and can be used on multiple devices, making it easy for users to access their passwords from anywhere.

Simplified Example

Think of a password manager like a big, fancy lockbox. This lockbox can store all of your special passwords that you use to access different things, like your email, online games, and favorite websites.

Just like you might have a key to open a lockbox, you have one special password that you use to access your password manager. Then, you don't have to remember all of your other passwords because they are safely stored in the lockbox.

When you want to log into something, you can go to your password manager, just like you would open the lockbox, and it will give you the right password you need. This way, you don't have to remember all of your passwords, and you can make sure that your passwords are safe and secure.

It's like having a super-smart friend who always remembers all of your passwords for you!

History of the Term "Password Manager"

The necessity for secure password storage paralleled the expansive use of the internet and online services. In the early days, handling passwords involved insecure methods like writing them down or storing them in plain text files. In response to the escalating need for robust password management, software developers in the late 1990s started crafting dedicated applications, initially known by various terms such as "password vaults," "password savers," and "master password programs." One of the pioneering commercially successful password managers was Password Safe, devised by Bruce Schneier and launched in 1997. As awareness of online threats grew, and the significance of robust passwords became more widely recognized, the demand for password managers surged. Media coverage, technology blogs, and online forums played crucial roles in disseminating information about password managers and their advantages. Security experts and organizations like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) contributed to their promotion, cementing the credibility and importance of password managers.


LastPass: LastPass is a popular password manager that allows users to securely store and manage their passwords in a single, encrypted location. With LastPass, users can store passwords for all their online accounts and log in with just one master password. LastPass automatically generates strong passwords for new accounts and can also store other sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and personal notes. Additionally, LastPass offers two-factor authentication for added security.

1Password: 1Password is another popular password manager that offers a user-friendly interface and advanced security features. With 1Password, users can store and manage all their passwords in one place, as well as securely store other sensitive information, such as bank account numbers and passport details. 1Password also offers a password generator tool to help users create strong and unique passwords. In addition, 1Password can be synced across multiple devices, allowing users to access their password vault from anywhere.

Bitwarden: Bitwarden is an open-source password manager that offers a free version, as well as a premium version with additional features. With Bitwarden, users can store and manage all their passwords in one secure location, as well as store other sensitive information, such as ID numbers and bank account details. Bitwarden also offers a password generator tool and two-factor authentication for added security. Bitwarden also provides cross-device syncing and can be accessed from anywhere, making it a convenient and secure password manager for users who need access to their passwords on multiple devices.

  • Google Authenticator: A two-factor authentication (2FA) app developed by Google.

  • Hacking: A term used to describe the process of gaining unauthorized access to computer systems and networks, with the intention of exploiting them.