Question from Charise: I read that with all the hacking going on we need to check the strength of our passwords with an online password checker.
I did a Google search for the term “password checker” and a bunch of them came up. The thing is, I’m wondering if it’s safe to use them.
I’m a little leery of typing my passwords into a form on a website that I don’t know anything about.
Are those password checker websites safe to use?
Rick’s answer: Charise, the answer depends on which online password checker you use as well as how much you trust the company behind it.
Generally speaking, the password checker tools provided by the popular password manager services are safe (well, at least as safe as using a password manager itself. (More on that later.)
You’re already trusting that service to keep your passwords safe, private and secure already, right? Typing your password into their password checker tool is no more risky than allowing them to store your passwords in the first place.
But truth be told, it’s the third-party password checkers that I wouldn’t trust on any level…
These tools can start off being legit, then switch over to the dark side at any time. And yes, some of them have done it in the past.
If you’re wondering how someone just knowing your password(s) without knowing which account(s) they match up with can put your accounts at risk, I can tell you that with a little Internet detective work that connection can definitely be made.
All is takes is logging your IP address (while you’re accessing their service) and then matching that IP address up online with known email addresses and mobile phone numbers. And yes, there are services on the dark web that do just that.
Now, back to password manager apps and third party password checker tools…
Personally, I don’t trust them, and I never will. You’ll find the reasons why listed in these posts.
And by extension, I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable using their password checker tools either.
But we are all free to make up our own minds about password manager apps. If you feel comfortable using them you can feel equally comfortable using their password checker tools.
Third-party password checkers? I don’t trust them at all, and neither should you.
Bottom line: If you use a password manager app then there’s no additional danger involved with using that service’s password checker tool.
But guess what? You can avoid the risks involved with both by doing this instead.