Password managers are applications/extensions that help manage your passwords. They help store multiple passwords and IDs of various logins that you might have. The password managers do all this in a very secure environment.
Why use a password manager?
Many people may ask why we need to use a password manager. Isn’t it much easier to use a single password or maybe use a pattern of passwords for various logins?
It is indeed very convenient to do so. However, from a security point of view, you are doing the worst possible thing. If a hacker gets access to the password, all your logins are compromised.
And you can’t possibly remember multiple strong passwords.
This is where password managers come to our rescue. A password manager has a master password or pattern or code or a password USB key to open all other passwords. Most password managers also generate random passwords which you can store for specific logins and the password manager remembers them for you. So, all you need to remember is the master password.
You may believe that this itself is a security compromise as all passwords will be compromised if the master password is hacked. That is true, but password managers keep things secure by using high level encryption security. It is difficult to hack a security app.
Also, someone hacking the master password of a password manager is a problem, if the password manager stores everything online. Online storage is convenient as cross platform, multiple device access and sync are all possible only when passwords are stored online.
You eliminate this problem by using an offline, single device password manager. However, you lose the convenience of anywhere, anytime access to your passwords.
A compromise is possible. You can use an online access password manager to store your not so important passwords and either memorize your important passwords (main email id, bank account) or store them in an offline, single device password manager. You might as well write them down on a paper and store them in a safe.
Password managers available
There are many password managers out there. I have mentioned a few popular ones.
Norton identity safe is a free app which provides cross platform, multi device access. Last pass free version is another popular application. The premium version adds a few non essential features. Other free versions of paid apps like Dashlane, KeePass are also good enough for personal use.
KeePass has an offline version as well.
p.s. I do not have any financial interests in the products mentioned above.