Cyber Security: Password Managers

Why you need a password manager

The average person has anything between 100 and 200 online accounts. That number is expected to double, at least, in the next 5 years.

We know that it’s not a good idea to re-use the same password on multiple websites and apps, particularly as your information could be at risk through no fault of your own. It seems like every week that there’s another news headline about a data breach affecting millions of customers.

If you’re using the same password for multiple online accounts, cybercriminals only have to obtain the password to one of these accounts to gain access to the rest.

We know we should create unique, strong passwords for all our important online accounts, but that’s no easy task. How can we possibly remember all those complex passwords?

That’s where password managers come in.

What is a password manager?

A password manager is an app that lets you store all your passwords in a secure, encrypted vault. This means that you only have to remember a single master password for your vault.

Once logged in, the password manager automatically fills in the usernames and passwords for websites as you visit them.

Password managers can also generate random, unique passwords when you create a new account or change your password.

Most have apps for computers, phones and tablets, allowing you to access your vault from any of your devices.

Does the University recommend a particular password manager?

We do not recommend any specific password manager, however, we can offer a few suggestions:

LastPass Password Manager

LastPass is a world-class password manager.  The free version syncs passwords across all your devices, including phones and tablets.

Key features of LastPass (Free) include:

  • Secure, encrypted vault
  • Access on all devices
  • Save and autofill passwords in apps and in-browser
  • Password generator
  • 2 Factor Authentication

The premium version of the product includes a security challenge that helps you evaluate the security of the accounts in your vault. 

You can try a free 6 month trial of LastPass premium with your university email address thanks to the education promo:


Bitwarden has become a popular choice among open-source software advocates. It’s free with no limits, and it’s every bit as polished and user-friendly as a premium service.

Key features of the free version include:

  • Secure, encrypted vault
  • Access on all devices
  • Save and fill passwords through browser extensions and in-app
  • Password generator
  • 2 Factor Authentication
  • Open source and third-party audited


1Password began life as an Apple-centric password solution, but it has since broadened its offerings to include iOS, Android, Windows, and ChromeOS. There’s even a command-line tool that will work anywhere. There are plug-ins for your favourite web browser too, which makes it easy to generate and edit new passwords on the fly

Features of 1Password include (from $2.99 per month):

  • Authenticator app capabilities
  • Securely encrypted passwords
  • Auto-fill on many apps
  • 2 Factor Authentication
  • Travel mode allows you to delete any sensitive data from your devices before you travel and restore it with a click upon return

Protecting your password vault

It’s vital that you protect your password. If your password manager was compromised, cybercriminals could access all your accounts.

You can keep your password manager secure by:

  1. Setting up two-factor authentication. Use an Authenticator app to make 2FA seamless.
  2. Installing updates for your password manager app as soon as they are available
  3. Choosing a strong password for your password manager account

Need further advice?

Feel free to contact the Information Centre who will direct your enquiry. If you have any questions or concerns about password managers, you can also leave a comment below. 

Pssst… While you’re here, you could take a quick survey to provide some anonymous information about your usage of password managers.

Victoria Szymanska
Cybersecurity Specialist