Password managers are a potent tool for anyone who is required to create multiple user accounts online – and in today’s day and age, that’s pretty much anyone who has to actively make use of the Internet. Unfortunately, even if users do their best to compose good passwords, there are only so many unique passwords a person can remember. This is a problem since it’s an extremely bad idea to reuse any of them, or just employ weak and easy to remember passwords.
This is why password managers are so useful – they allow users to delegate the tedium of composing long, strong, random passwords and remembering and inputting those passwords into an app that can do it automatically. The only thing that’s really required of the user is that they compose one really good master password and remember it under any circumstances. That sounds simple enough - but what happens if the user forgets their master password?
Since password manager creators take online security very seriously, they tend to make absolutely certain that no one except the user has access to the user’s private information. Said ‘private information’ naturally includes the user’s master password, while the aforementioned ‘no one’ most often includes the creator of the app as well. This is an admirable practice that adds to the overall safety and security of the app in question – however, it means that the app’s creators do not have access to the user’s profile, and therefore can’t aid the user in case said user do the one thing that they were not supposed to do – namely, forget their master password.
To reiterate – forgetting your master password could prove disastrous, especially if the creators of the password manager you are using adheres to the principles of total anonymity and security when designing their product. Some of the best password managers available – such as 1password, offer no options to users to recover their master password, under normal circumstances. Others, such as LastPass, may allow users to recover access to their account in some fringe cases when the circumstances are just right. However, this is not something that users can depend on.
In short – users that employ password managers should make every effort to memorize their master password, then make sure they remember it and remember it well. The one thing that users should definitely not do is rest comfortably in the knowledge that they can recover their master password at any time, if they forget it – because, in all probability, that won’t be possible.