In a time when cybersecurity is the word of the day, it’s more important than ever to be cautious with our passwords. Keeping up with numerous unique passwords for all the services we use online every day is difficult, though. Keeping passwords in a physical book is dangerous, as is using the same password for every service. An Excel spreadsheet is only as secure as your computer. Luckily, there are solutions through free programs to help us create new, safe passwords and keep track of them.
LastPass. LastPass is a well-known password manager that was founded in 2008. It works on the majority of operating systems and is available for free download. LastPass “lives” in your desktop browser and automatically fills out forms for you. A premium version of the manager is available for a nominal fee and provides mobile support as well as desktop and a credit monitoring service.
Dashlane. Dashlane keeps your passwords secure with a password vault and an automatic login to allow you access to all of your services at the touch of a button. Your dashboard for Dashlane will also provide you with information about the strength of your password and which accounts a hacker may have accessed. It also provides a password generator so you don’t have to wrack your brain coming up with unique passwords for every service you use. The free version is also available for mobile services.
KeePass. This service is a free, open-source password manager. It locks all your passwords in a database that is accessible with a master password key. The software uses secure encryption algorithms and can be carried via USB for use on any Windows system without installation.
MyPadlock. MyPadlock’s full version is free and stores passwords on your PC in a secure database that is accessible only with a master password. To make sure you don’t accidentally leave your database open, the software automatically locks after a few minutes.
PassPack. PassPack is an online password manager that will manage up to 100 passwords for free. It allows you to share passwords with military grade encryption among coworkers and family members. The company never stores your unencrypted data, so your passwords are always safe. You also have one click login availability with the installation of the program on your browser.
LockCrypt. This is another free, open-source password manager that provides users with a secure, central database to store passwords. It’s available for mobile devices, and all the data held in the database is exportable if you ever needed to move it out of the software. It also includes a secure password manager.
Whichever password manager you choose to use for your password safety, look for strong, secure encryption to verify your passwords are safe from hackers targeting the company. There are many paid password managers, as well. Android and iPhone apps to keep your passwords safe in one location may be available for a one-time fee or monthly subscription. If there is a free version that supports your needs, it is just as safe to use as paying for a password management service.