Insecure passwords, Altroconsumo recommends the most effective ‘managers’

Convenience, speed and practicality are the strengths of the digital world, but there is also a dose of vulnerability that can only be countered with good quality access passwords. The digital thieves, the hackers, are well aware of this, and by now they strike from small private users to large companies, including government ones. Since the services to be protected are many and the passwords too, it is useless to live nightmares and swear in front of memory lapses; there are apps and programs that do this job for us with far greater guarantees than notes that we can keep hidden at home on a sheet of paper or, even worse, in our wallet.


In order to inform the consumer about the best defense programs against hackers, Altroconsumo has tested 17 of the so-called “password managers”, programs or apps that allow you to store, generate and manage your passwords. They are useful for keeping all our access data and being able to access them by entering the key to enter the program; it will be sufficient, therefore, to use a single password to be able to consult all the others. These programs also allow you to automatically create extremely secure, complex passwords, such as to guarantee thief-proof browsing. Generally, in fact, we fall into the trap of creating passwords that are easy to memorize, which are also the simplest ones to break, such as those with our date of birth. Another mistake, linked to our need for memory, is to use the same password for different accesses: if it is intercepted, we will open the doors to our accounts. The password manager is convenient and practical, but it is essential to choose well and remember the main access password, in the remote case in which the app servers were to be violated by a hacker attack – all passwords, in fact, would be compromised in one fell swoop. alone.


Password managers are typically paid, with monthly or yearly subscription, but they offer a free trial period to try your hand. The free programs are generally of lower quality, as can be seen in the test table conducted by Altroconsumo. For those with no particular needs, the basic functions of the password managers are available within the navigation browsers (such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari). Specifically, the tests were conducted on dedicated password managers, which allow for more versatility, greater functionality and an assistance service. Another strategic test is the creation of secure passwords: it has been verified whether password managers provide strong and complex passwords. In particular, it was evaluated whether the program reports the presence of insecure passwords, with the correct indication of how to improve them. Or if it protects from the so-called “brute force attack”, a cyber attack performed through software that enter millions of passwords until they guess the right one; or if it allows you to activate two-factor authentication, that is, it enables access not only by means of a password, but also by entering an additional code. Protection from phishing attacks and reporting of unsafe sites were also evaluated. The test password managers are not all easy to use, which could be problematic for less smart users, while they are all balanced on the privacy front.

The results summarized in the table show that software that requires a secure master password has been rewarded, providing the correct indications to create it. In fact, at the top of the ranking we find Agilebits 1Password, which earns the title of Best of the Test thanks to the high security in the various phases of use and an interface that makes it very understandable and practical to use even for non-digital users. Also among the first results, we find 8Bit Solutions Bitwarden, which wins the Best Buy seal.