These days, there are a ton of names to choose from in the password manager space. With the likes of LastPass, 1Password, Roboform, and Bitwarden catching your attention, it can be challenging to determine which password manager to choose.
One of the important concerns of any user has always been the safety of data. It is natural to ponder: Is your data safe?
To answer this question about one of the most quirky and unique password managers, let’s take a look at Bitwarden, its security protocols, and some of the unique features offered by the program and its open-source code.
What Makes Bitwarden Safe?
These are the 5 primary ways Bitwarden makes sure your data is safe and secure. Let’s have look at them.
Like any other worthwhile password manager, Bitwarden relies on 256-AES encryption for your data. This makes it, for all intents and purposes, completely indecipherable to anyone without a supercomputer or centuries of spare time.
This is currently the highest standard of encryption and is the standard that protects your information even in the event of a data breach. Without the encryption code, all your data would be nothing but unreadable.
However, if you are concerned about your data being compromised in the cloud, Bitwarden also offers the option of storing it locally. This is a good choice for security-conscious users, but Bitwarden servers are more secure than any user’s local networks, so local storage isn`t something you need to worry about.
Being open-source, Bitwarden`s source code is available to read. With so many eyes on the code, this means any bugs or vulnerabilities in the code are spotted and patched out almost immediately and Bitwarden is subject to a constant, rapid stream of updates.
Bitwarden also relies on a technique known as salt hashing, where your master password is locally rendered meaningless before being sent to the Bitwarden server.
All Bitwarden then gets instead of your bare email address and a master password is a string of random letters and numbers that are hashed one more time before being saved to the database.
A one-way hash is used every time you log in, so not only is your information jumbled, but it changes with each use, so even old data is technically useless data useless.
One of Bitwarden’s unique features is the ability to host your own server so you all have direct control over your data.
By self-hosting, you avoid the risk of a serious data breach in which hackers gain access to your information by opening a corporate vault containing a central repository of all customer data.
One of the other benefits of self-publishing is that it allows you to do more customization on Bitwarden itself – things like free premium features, unlimited encrypted storage, and lots of control over data material.
The downside, of course, is the upkeep and maintenance of the server, and it’s your responsibility to protect the server itself.
While Bitwarden offers you the option of self-hosting, there are good reasons to trust Bitwarden servers, as they are not actually Bitwarden servers.
All Bitwarden data is stored and processed on Microsoft Azure Cloud, which means that all infrastructure management and maintenance is done by the giant Microsoft team and Bitwarden (and extension, you) benefit from all the security benefits that come with it.
Hackers will not only need to steal your master password and bypass two-factor authentication, but they will also need to break into the Azure cloud itself and then process excessive volumes of encrypted data containing your information.
Bitwarden’s password generator is easy to use – it gives users the option to generate random series of numbers, letters, and symbols, or generate easy-to-remember passcodes.
Bitwarden can generate passwords ranging from 5 to 128 characters. The default length is 14, which is fine, but I recommend expanding your password by at least a few characters.
I also think it’s nice that you can choose to exclude unknown characters from the password, although that shouldn’t be too necessary since you don’t have to remember the password.
As stated on their Terms of Service page, Bitwarden Inc. is based in the United States and is not a privacy-respecting jurisdiction. The recent changes to the Patriot Act also do not bode well.
However, as we have determined, even when Bitwarden transmits data stored on their servers, no one can decrypt it. There is no meaningful data they keep about you. Also, most password manager developers are in the US, with a few exceptions, such as Enpass or NordPass.
On their product page, Bitwarden also states that they are compliant with GDPR, Privacy Shield, and CCPA regulations. This means that they assure you that they process your data in accordance with these regulations.
Password Audit and Breach Monitor
Bitwarden offers several password auditing tools to keep your vault as secure as possible. These “features” all offer important information to help users analyze different aspects of their password vaults.
Here are the different features included in Bitwarden Premium:
- Exposed passwords: Finds breach databases for any of your saved passwords.
- Reused passwords: Scans your vault for recurring passwords.
- Weak passwords: Check simple and weak passwords in your vault.
- Unsecured websites: Notifies if you have accounts on sites with the insecure HTTP protocol instead of the safer HTTPS protocol.
- 2FA: Check your vault for sites that offer 2Factor Authentication login so you can tighten your security on those sites.
- Data breach: Check for database breaches for logins or usernames that may be leaked.
Bitwarden is Safe!
And that’s about it. You can be assured that your data, along with personal passwords, is just as safe with Bitwarden as it is with any good password manager. No doubt. Please contact us below for any help regarding Bitwarden or password protection!