Password Managers are programs that store your passwords and other login information in an encrypted database. We often tend to use easy to remember passwords or even same passwords in all the sites we belong to, and this is an unsafe practice because once one of your online accounts have been compromised, your other accounts are vulnerable.
If popular websites like Adobe can be hacked, then it’s a matter of time before any other website can be compromised as well. With continuing security threats, it is unsafe to use same passwords all the time. Password managers ensure we use different passwords for different sites, that way even if one of your accounts is compromised, others will still be safe.
You need to use different strong passwords for different sites and the only practical way to do this is to use Password Manager. Password managers manage your passwords across your devices and secure your digital life.
How Safe are Password Managers?
This is a common question that bothers people when they hear password managers. It’s been argued that using password managers is like “putting all your security eggs in one basket” – and with good reason: if you keep all your login data in one place, then any hacker successful in compromising it has been handed the keys to your online kingdom.
This is a valid argument by some, but in truth the actual risk of compromise is far less than if you use same password for all your accounts. If one account is compromised, then the others are at risk as well.
Online merchants and secure websites aren’t doing a very good job of keeping your personal information safe. Even those sites using decent security practices may have been compromised by the recently discovered Heartbleed bug. If the bad guys nabbed your password, you’re in trouble.
A lot of sites have been compromised especially those with password databases. But no major password manager service has been compromised.
Password Managers use advanced encryption to protect your stored passwords knowing fully well the dangers of getting compromised. They ensure high security standards always just to keep your passwords safe.
What are some good Password Managers?
1. LastPass: LastPass is one of the major players in this area. LastPass automatically fills out forms, allows for import and export, and permits sharing of passwords through the Internet (a better alternative than using plain text email, which is insecure).
It also lets you create and keep simple notes, generate complex passwords, and create a USB key using Google Authenticator Support.
Price: LastPass is Free for desktop, and $12/year for mobile.
2. Password Genie: Password Genie is another awesome password manager i can’t fail to mention in this article.
It extends beyond passwords and PINs, serving as an information management app — especially for travelers.
It serves as a mobile vault for people’s personal information, from passwords and websites to insurance cards, frequent flyer information and hotel/rental car numbers.
Password Genie is a mobile-first platform, but it does offer integration with a desktop client.
Price: $19.95/year (free 30-day trial)
3. SplashID: SplashID is yet another good password manager. It supports virtually all mobile OSes, Windows and Mac.
SplashID Safe operates differently than the browser-based plugins, requiring no installation at all. Rather, SplashData sends you a $29.95 4-GB key-shaped USB device. Simply plug the key into any computer, enter your password and SplashID Safe will launch your data. The app securely stores your usernames, passwords, account numbers, and any records you need to remember and keep secure.
The desktop and mobile versions of SplashID Safe are sold separately (you don’t need to have both), and the two versions sync with each other.
Price: SplashID costs $19.95 for desktop, and $9.95 for mobile.
4. RoboForm: Mention Password manager anywhere and RoboForm will pop-up.RoboForm securely stores passwords, credit card and personal information on your computer only; it does not transfer data to the cloud.
The entry-level version of RoboForm is not subscription-based, while RoboForm Everywhere starts at $9.95 annually, which lets you run RoboForm on any number of computers. RoboForm2Go, an encrypted USB drive, can be used on up to three USB keys.
Price: RoboForm Desktop: $29.95 (free 30-day trial), RoboForm Everywhere: $9.95 first year, $19.95 subsequent years, RoboForm2Go: $39.95.
5. Dashlane: Offering many features that extend beyond password management, Dashlane incorporates social into its product by use of a points system that rewards you for securing passwords or storing online receipts. You can then use the points to unlock premium features, get free iOS apps and more.
Dashlane facilitates online shopping through use of easy-to-understand color-coded information, enabling users to complete online transactions by clicking a few tabs.
The basic version offers all the features of premium, but with limited support, a limited number of notes, and no mobile help. The premium account also includes all future premium features. Version 1.6 introduced Dashlane Courier, a secure way to transfer confidential data.
Dashlane is available for Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android.
Price: $4.99/month or $39.99/year.
There are lots of other good password managers out there such as;
my1login ($2.00/month; free edition available),
F-Secure Key ($15.99/year; free edition available),
1Password for Windows ($49.95),
PasswordBox ($12.00/year; free edition available),
Norton Identity Safe (Free),
MyLOK Personal ($89.95),
Keeper 5.0 ($9.95/device/year) etc.
How do I choose?
Choosing the best password manager for you depends on two things – Your budget and the device (environment) you are going to use it. So you should consider if the Password manager works on the device you want to use it for – Mobile or PC.
You should also check its availability on the OS of the device. While most of these password managers may work on Windows, some may not work on Mac for example.
Then your budget is also another factor to consider. Do you have the fund to acquire a password manager? If you do then I will recommend any of these premium password managers listed above. If you don’t then you should check out the ones that are FREE such as KeePass and Norton Identity Safe etc.
If you are not using a password manager yet, then you need to start now. If you are, now’s the time to change all your passwords and take note of those still vulnerable to Hearbleed.
With Password Managers, you only need to remember just one strong password – the one that opens the password manager.