Storing Your Passwords "Offline" vs. "Online" - What does it really mean?

Password Managers are a great tool. They organize all of your passwords, help you create strong passwords and can autofill your login credentials for you. These are pretty standard features across the board. However, most Password Managers keep your passwords connected to the internet in some form or another. In this blog, we are going to explain the difference between “online” Password Managers and “offline” Password Managers like Stash (SPOILER ALERT: Stash is pretty much the only password manager that is truly offline). 

“Online” Password Managers typically store your passwords and other sensitive information in the cloud or on your device (both of which are connected to the internet). You can access this information by logging into the “online” password management service you are using. This means that you must have one “master” password that you still need to remember to sign-in to the service that is holding the rest of your passwords for you. The problem with this is that anything that is connected to the internet can be hacked. If someone hacks your master password, they can access the rest of your passwords and you may never know it. The other problem is that they don’t even need to gain access to your account directly. If the Password Manager service you are using gets breached, the passwords of everyone using that service are at risk. When someone else is responsible for the security of your passwords, you are at their mercy.

In comparison, an “offline” Password Manager, such as Stash, stores your passwords disconnected and off of the internet on a secure card. This means your passwords cannot be accessed by hackers from anywhere in the world. They can only be accessed by you. Some “online” Password Managers do claim to be “offline” but what this usually means is they are storing your passwords on your phone instead of in the cloud. Even when your passwords are stored directly on your phone, they are connected to the internet anytime your phone is connected to the internet. It is very important to understand this difference.

At the end of the day, it comes down to what you are comfortable with. So if you are going to use a Password Manager, make sure you understand where all of your passwords are going to be stored before deciding which one is the best fit for you.