You don’t need me to tell you that you should have a secure password- something you’ll remember, but unique enough to prevent hackers from cracking it. You should vary your password for each website so that if one of your accounts is compromised, they won’t all be in danger. Yada, yada, yada, You know this. But even though you know what you should do doesn’t mean you actually do it. How many of us actually have a different password for every site? No one has the time or memory for that, unless you happen to have all of your login information stored in a secure place.
We adults can be particularly stubborn and childish about cutting into our precious time. Most times, we’re content to take the easy way out. Your private information is one area of your life where you do NOT want to compromise, however. It is really quite simple to keep all of your passwords separate and secure with a password manager. According to Wired, “Password managers are great because they store all your passwords, generate strong ones for you, and in general, the only password you have to remember is the one to open your password manager.”
One of the first things you’ll want to do it enter your password of choice into a website such as howsecureismypassword.net that tests the strength of your password and calculates how long it would take for hackers to discover it. Use this password to login to your password manager site- it’s the only one you’ll need to remember! Then, bring some order to your life with a password service that will generate and organize passwords for all of your accounts in a single, secure environment. Here are some of the best ones out there:
- LastPass: free or $12.00 for 4.0 premium
LastPass is one of the most popular free password management apps on the market, and it delivers everything you could possibly want in a free app by generating and storing secure passwords across your sites. A cool feature is that it alerts you if it discovers any duplicate passwords and when it is time to change an old password as a preventive measure. The only drawback to this app is that it was recently hacked in a 2015 breach that leaked users’ email addresses, password hints, and encrypted master passwords. The company was quick to respond to the issue and protect a majority of user data; however, it is something to consider for the very security-conscious.
- Dashlane: free or $39.99 for premium
Like LastPass, the free version of Dashline delivers all the basic features of a password manager. It generates strong passwords, stores them, and autofills web-forms with the login information, so the only password you need to remember is the one to access Dashline. The premium version is even more advanced than the free encrypted service, supporting seven languages and possessing the ability to change passwords on 500 websites at once.
- Sticky Password: free or $29.99 ($14.99 special) for premium
You can get started with Sticky Password for free with the desktop and mobile app, but if you want to synch to the cloud, you’ll need to subscribe to their service. Like the other apps, it generates random secure passwords and autofills online forms. One cool feature is biometric authentication, allowing you to use your fingerprint to confirm your identity. The premium version includes many high-level security features such as Wi-Fi syncing across devices and an encrypted backup database online.
At $39 a year, LogMeOnce is one of the most expensive options on the list (about the same as Dashlane), but with all its advanced features, it is 100% worth the extra cost. This service, which is available for Window, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, is unlike any other password manager. With selfie-based authentication, LogMeOnce is completely passwordless and it utilizes built-in anti-theft to keep your information ultra secure.
For even more great password manager options, be sure to check out this detailed list from PCMag.