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A password manager is a software application that is used to store and manage the passwords that a user has for various online accounts and security features. Password managers store the passwords in an encrypted format and provide secure access to all the password information with the help of a master password.
There are many types of password managers, differing in the way they encrypt the information, type of storage and the additional features provided.
Password managers are applications that serve as the solution for maintaining a large number of passwords and account information. They store the login information of the various accounts and automatically enter them into the forms. This helps in the prevention of hacker attacks like keystroke logging and it prevents the need to remember multiple passwords.
Password managers enable the use of strong and unique passwords for each online account and provide an efficient way to manage all the passwords. The login information is encrypted and stored in either the local memory of the user’s system or in cloud storage. Portable password manager applications installed in mobile devices can also be used as a way to manage and remember passwords anywhere and use them on shared systems.
Password managers usually incorporate some additional features like automatic form filling and password generation. The automatic form filling feature fills in the login information for a particular URL whenever it loads, and thus reduces manual errors and protects systems from hacker attacks such as keylogging. As password managers can identify the right URL for a particular login ID and password pair automatically, they are capable of protecting credentials from phishing sites. The automatic password generation feature available in certain password managers helps to create strong, unique and random passwords for each account.
Some of the basic types of password managers are:
Other types of password managers include online password managers and security token password managers used in smart cards and other multi-factor authentication applications.