We know that we are supposed to have passwords which should be changed regularly, but very few of us actually do it. Coming up with strong, varied passwords can be painful. And remembering them? Forget about it.
Most people use very weak passwords and reuse them across many ‘logins’. So how are you supposed to use strong, unique passwords for all the sites and stores and subscriptions in your system? The answer is to use a password manager.
Password managers will securely store your login information and help you to log into sites automatically. They encrypt your password database with a master password – the only one you have to remember. Or you can create your own master password. Just make sure it’s impossible to crack and whatever you do, don’t forget it!
The best password managers give you the option to sync online or keep your passwords locally. They can help you to change web passwords with a click or automatically log into sites for you. Let’s have a look at five of the better password managers around.
LastPass is a well-rounded password manager that makes it easy to store passwords either online (synced with multiple computers and devices) or locally (offline) on a single device. LastPass remembers your passwords so you don’t have to. It also makes it easy to audit your passwords and use stronger passwords in general. It can even automatically change a password for you if a service has been hacked or its security compromised.
Supports: Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Internet Explorer
Costs: It’s free to download and use, but for access to the best features, including mobile apps, you’ll need to upgrade to LastPass Premium at $12 per year.
Dashlane is popular because of its easy-to-use interface, simple security, easy auto-login and form auto-fill functions. It even keeps a log of your online purchases and orders. Dashlane can also notify you if you have an account on a site which has been hacked. Its built-in password changer allows Dashlane to reset a compromised password to a newer, stronger one in seconds. You can also change all your passwords at once, should the need arise.
Supports: Windows, OS X, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer
Costs: Free to download and use, but if you want to sync your passwords across devices, you’ll need Dashlane Premium at $40 per year.
Click NEXT for more of the best password managers to keep your data safe.
Passwords in KeePass are stored inside an encrypted database that you control on your own system, and are never synced or uploaded anywhere unless you want to take them from machine to machine. KeePass is also a portable app, meaning it’s super easy to take with you and use on multiple computers, even if that machine is locked down and all you have is a thumb drive. It has its own password generator to help you change passwords and make sure each one of them is unique and strong.
Supports: Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Costs: Free open-source software
1Password is a powerful and secure password manager and digital wallet presented in a smart-looking package that looks great on every platform on which it runs. It’s flexible, easy to use and works seamlessly on just about every web browser, and packs in the superior features which you’ve come to expect from a premium password manager and secure document storage tool.
Supports: Windows, OS X, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari
Costs: Download and try for free, or buy a single license for $50
RoboForm has been around since 1999. It is a great tool for auto-filling forms on the web and as a password manager. RoboForm gives you the option to keep your passwords and data encrypted locally, or you can sync to the web and across devices. It supports multiple identities, so you can auto-fill form information depending on user names, email or IP addresses.
Supports: Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry, SymbianOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera
Costs: Free to download and use for the first 10 logins. Or upgrade to RoboForm Everywhere, which will set you back $20 per year.
Find out more at LifeHacker.com