Best Password Managers of 2015
Good password management is a critical part of online security, but it can be difficult to do. The more online accounts you have, the more difficult it is to create strong passwords, keep track of them without exposing them to thieves, and remember to change them regularly. Read on to learn how password managers can simplify the task…
Managing Your Passwords With Ease
If you’re not using a password management program, you’re probably committing at least one of the cardinal sins against security best practices. Your passwords may be weak or obvious, like the popular “12345678” or simply “password.” Or you may be reusing the same password on multiple accounts. Both make for a hacker's dream.
Another definite no-no is storing a list of passwords in unencrypted text on a hard drive, cloud service, or a Post-It Note; that just makes theft easier. If this sounds like you, then please consider using one of these password management programs.
LastPass is a long-standing leader in password managers, consistently achieving highest ratings from reviewers and users. The free version is a cloud-based, client-server product for desktop machines only; if you want synced support across mobile devices, you’ll need the premium version for $12 per year. Download and install the LastPass client, then use it to create a LastPass account and a master password, the only one you’ll need to remember from then on.
Add website login URLs and credentials manually, or let LastPass import them from your browser’s password manager. Once LastPass is installed, it will automatically log you in to accounts, change passwords regularly, and even fill in forms for you. Two-factor authentication is optional.
LastPass was acquired by LogMeIn in October, 2015, and a lot of LastPass users are unhappy about that deal. LogMeIn has a reputation for spiking acquisitions, hiking prices unexpectedly, and eliminating free options. This has prompted many LastPass users to search for an alternative. LastPass competitor, DashLane, reported a huge surge in Google search traffic immediately following the LastPass/LogMeIn merger announcement.
DashLane offers a free version for one Windows, Android or iOS device only. Support for multiple devices costs $39.95 per year. The free version does not provide Web access to your passwords stored in the cloud, and there is a limit of five accounts that can be shared with others. Like LastPass, DashLane can also store and auto-fill your credit card details, shipping addresses, and other user-specified information. Two-factor authentication is an option.
More Passwords Manager Options
RoboForm Desktop excels at filling in complex forms automatically. However, reviewers say it’s not as good at capturing login information and replaying it where needed as LastPass and other programs designed originally for these functions are. RoboForm Desktop stores your encrypted passwords locally, while RoboForm Everywhere keeps them in the cloud so they’re available no matter which mobile or desktop device you use.
Password managers have suffered feature-bloat due to heavy competition. For those who want a simple, free password manager without the form-filling and “digital wallet” stuff, PassWordBox is a good choice. PasswordBox was acquired by Intel in January, 2015, and the chip giant has made the premium version totally free now. PasswordBox is a browser plugin for Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer. With a compatible browser, it runs on Windows, iOS, or Android devices. When you log in to a site for the first time after installing PassWordBox, it captures your credentials and asks you if you want it to save them. When you revisit a stored site, your credentials are automatically filled in; if you have multiple accounts on a site, a dropdown list lets you pick one to use. PassWordBox offers two-factor authentication, but only via a heartbeat monitoring biometric device sold by Nymi.
If you're still scribbling passwords on a Post-it note, using weak passwords, or the same password for multiple sites, using one of these password managers will boost your security immensely. All of the program listed here include the option to generate strong, non-guessable passwords, store them securely, and automatically fill website login forms. LastPass and Dashlane both have the ability to automatically change your password every 30 days on hundreds of popular sites.
Are you using a password manager? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 26 Oct 2015
|For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.|
No Frills Phones and Service Plans
The Top Twenty
Who is Searching Your DNA Online?
There's more reader feedback... See all 89 comments for this article.
Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions
Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter
Copyright © 2005
- Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Article information: AskBobRankin -- Best Password Managers of 2015 (Posted: 26 Oct 2015)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved