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University Information Services

What is a password manager?

A password manager is an application that makes it easier for you to create unique, strong passwords for your online accounts. They also store them securely so you don’t have to worry about remembering them or writing them down.

Why is a password manager useful?

It’s important to have a unique and strong password for each account so that if one account is compromised, your other accounts will still be safe. However, it’s difficult to remember a lot of unique, strong passwords. Password managers make this easier. They create strong passwords and remember them for you.

Remember, you must never use the password for your University account (formerly Raven) for any other website or account. Note that several systems are covered by your University account.

Which password manager should I use?

Many modern devices have built-in password managers. For example, Apple phones and computers have a password manager called ‘Keychain’. Modern web browsers, like Chrome, Edge and Safari, also have built-in password managers.

It’s safe to use a built-in password manager on your own device or in a browser on your own device. You should never use them on shared devices – for example, a shared computer in a College, library or office. You could use them on a shared computer in your household if every person who uses it has their own account and logs out when they’ve finished using it.

You can also buy a standalone password manager. UIS doesn’t offer a centralised service or recommend a specific password manager because staff and students work and study in very different environments across the University, and using a wide range of devices for personal as well as University activities. You should choose a password manager that best suits all of your needs.

The National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC’s) password manager guide also doesn’t recommend a specific password manager, but explains the features you should consider when choosing one. It’s good practice for you to purchase and use your own password manager that remains with you, even if you leave the University.

The NCSC’s top tips for staying secure online includes a very useful section on password managers.

How should I protect my password manager?

The NCSC’s advice on protecting password managers recommends that you:

  • Turn on multi-factor authentication on the password manager account.
  • Choose a very strong ‘master’ password for your password manager. It’s okay to write this one down as long as you keep it safe.
  • Install updates for your password manager as soon as you’re prompted.