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Where to Store Passwords: Password Manager vs Spreadsheet

Password management. Laptop with memo sticks on the screen, Password Manager vs Spreadsheet

Where are your passwords stored and how secure are they? According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Reports (DBIR), 80% of hacking-related breaches are associated with passwords. So, secure password storage is the first line of defense that protects your accounts from unwelcome intrusion. 

Many individuals and organizations still use password spreadsheets. Is this a really good idea? What is secure password storage? How a password manager protects your data? The Passwarden® team has prepared a complete overview of a password manager vs spreadsheet. Check it out!

Passwarden is also available as a part of the MonoDefense security bundle

Is Password Spreadsheet a Secure Password Storage

The answer is – No. Password spreadsheets are not a safe place to store your login credentials for a number of reasons: 

  • Spreadsheets were not designed to manage passwords

Spreadsheets were not originally intended to handle passwords. They are useful for calculations, graphing, various organizational tasks, but spreadsheets don't cut it as a password management solution. Some newer versions of spreadsheet software may have enhanced security features like longer hashes, etc., but they are still much weaker compared to trusted password managers like Passwarden

  • Hackers and bad actors may easily access, copy, and edit spreadsheets

Spreadsheet files are easy to open, upload, and copy, which puts your sensitive data at risk if you use spreadsheets as password storage. Internal users may copy and send files in an insecure way, whether on purpose or by mistake, letting hackers gain access to them. Besides, there may be no traces left when somebody gets access to the file or makes a copy of it.

Concept of hacking attack and security problems. Miniature people try to unlock metal padlock. Security of password managers

  • Password spreadsheets increase risk of human errors

Managing credentials with spreadsheets is a manual process. And like with other manual methods, there’s a chance of human error. For example, it’s very easy to make a mistake when adding passwords to a spreadsheet, as password spreadsheets don’t offer autosave feature. 

  • Spreadsheets don't enforce best practices of password security

There are no built-in mechanisms for supporting password best practices and standards when using a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets can’t verify how strong your password is, if it complies with security requirements, and more.

Where to Store Passwords Safely 

Better safe than sorry... If you’re still storing passwords in a spreadsheet, it’s high time to give it up for good as soon as possible and opt for a much safer option – a secure password manager. It is a safe alternative to using spreadsheets, considered by security experts as the best practice in handling passwords. So, why is it more secure compared to spreadsheets? 

Password storage with hacker-proof encryption 

Passwarden applies strong cryptographic algorithms, namely the highly reliable and secure data encryption protocols AES-256 and C p-384, to protect passwords and other data you add to your vault. 

To ensure ultimate security, Passwarden uses client-side encryption. What does it mean? The encrypting and decrypting of your data takes place on your computer and other parties, even the password manager provider, can’t see any password stored in your vault. This is also called a zero-knowledge approach. This means your data is far more secure.

2FA for extra protection of your password storage 

Undoubtedly, this security feature needs no introduction. 2FA, or two-factor authentication, protects your account even if your master password gets compromised. How does it work? Apart from the master password, which is the key to your Passwarden account, you need to provide a special one-time code. You can get it via email or in an authenticator app. So, there’s no way for unwelcome parties to get hold of your sensitive info. 

Wooden block with a phrase: Protect your data, concept of protection of your passwords with a password manager

Enhanced security of a password manager compared to a spreadsheet is already significant advantage. But there are way more benefits you can enjoy.  

Password Manager vs Spreadsheet: Other Benefits of Passwarden 

Autofill login forms

Unlike spreadsheets, password manager provides autofill and autosave features. How do they work? When logging in to a website, rather than typing your password, you can simply let the app fill in the correct info for you. A full-featured password manager like Passwarden can be set up to fill in other details as well, such as credit card numbers, emails, and more. 

Passwarden can also save your login credentials to your vault when you first enter them on a website. If you accept, your data will be automatically stored in Passwarden vault and synced between devices. Autosave and autofill both save time and allow you to access your accounts more easily.

Generate strong passwords in a few clicks 

Spreadsheets can’t generate strong passwords for you, but a password manager can. Passwarden relieves the pain of coming up with a complex and unique password whenever you create a new account or change the password for an existing one. 

Store other sensitive data

Passwarden is not all about passwords. It also lets you store the following data: 

  • Bank accounts
  • Credit cards
  • SSN
  • ID card
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • Contacts
  • Software license
  • Secure notes, and more

Credit cards, concept of different data you can store in Passwarden

Surely, you can keep this info in a spreadsheet, too. But if you aim at security, Passwarden’s safe storage is what you need. 

How to Start Storing Passwords in Passwarden 

  1. Download the Passwarden app on your device.
  2. Register a new KeepSolid ID or log in with an existing one. 
  3. Set up a secure Master Password for your account. It’s the only password you need to remember. 
  4. That’s it! You’re all set to start managing passwords and other private info in a secure and convenient way. 

Have any questions or comments? Feel free to contact our customer support team, who’s here for you 24/7.

Password Manager vs Spreadsheet: Final Thoughts 

In comparison to a spreadsheet, a password manager is a more secure, convenient, and automated way of managing your sensitive data. Try Passwarden and see for yourself!

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March 17, 2021