In this modern day of computers and technology, the biggest gripe we hear from friends, family, and customers is the never ending struggle with remembering passwords. Whether it’s sticky notes on the computer screen, excel spreadsheets on the desktop, or that little notebook you keep full of those hard to remember passwords, chances are you’re still forgetting them. Most people use the same password across websites, bank accounts, and computers which is definitely a bad idea. If the same key can be used to unlock the entire kingdom, are you secure? The answer is simple… no. With more and more websites requiring the use of uppercase letters, special characters as in !@# and even longer lengths, how do you remember all your passwords as well as keep them secure from prying eyes?
Look no farther a secure “password manager“. Sounds simple? Well it quite is nowadays.
You may have heard of the following password managers: LastPass, 1Password, and maybe one that now gets bundle with your anti-virus? So which one should you use? We’ll help break down password manager starting from the ease of use to the most secure.
How do they work? Are they secure?
The simple answer, yes. Here’s how all of them work in a nutshell. The goal of a password manager is to limit you from having to remember all your different passwords. They accomplish this by simply having you only needing to remember one password, your master password. This “master password” acts as the key to unlock the rest of your password within the vault(the password manager). After you put in that one password, all of your password in the vault will become visible to you. In regards to security, all password managers protect your collection password by using encryption. All you need to remember is that the stronger your master password is, the more secure your passwords are within the vault.
Once you access your “vault” of passwords, finding your password to your Yahoo email or your facebook account is simple. Nearly all password managers have a search bar built into the vault which allows you to type in your search for a website which will then pop up with your results for your Gmail account, your bank account passwords or anything else you’re trying to find.
On top of all that, all of the password managers we mention here allow your import your list of passwords from an excel spreadsheet to make importing and migrating to a password manager a lot less of a headache.
Which password software or service should I use?
We’ll go over the three most popular password management programs including 1Password, KeePass, and LastPass. All of them range in regards to ease of use, cost, and security.
1Password – PAID AND EASY TO USE
Really bringing around the idea of easy to use password management, 1Password is a program has been around for the Macintosh since 2006. As of late last year, 1Password has been introduced to Microsoft Windows. Like other password managers, 1Password lets you store all your passwords in a safe and secure place. From passwords to credit card info, to bank account details and sensitive documents, 1Password is in our opinion, one of the most easiest to use password managers to store all your secure information.
1Password isn’t free, costing around $5 per month to use their service. The monthly subscription that customers pay will allow users to access passwords from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop from anywhere you are. The price also includes backup of your passwords in case your computer crashes, you lose your device, or the unforeseen happens.
KeePass – FREE and Easy to USE
Since 2003, KeePass has been the favorite password manager of many due it being free of charge and opensource. KeePass is a straightforward and easy to use password manager that will let you store your passwords anyway you please. The software is not flashy, but is known for its security and simplity. KeePass does not cost a penny, but by default, your password are not backed up and accessing your passwords while you’re away from your computer may be a challenge.
LastPass – FREE & PAID OPTIONS
LastPass has been one of San Diego Computer Help’s favorites for years. Though we would have to agree, the learning curve is “slightly” more stronger, LastPass has shown to be a strong contender in the password manager space. Both free and paid options are available with free allowing you to access your passwords from any desktop or laptop and the paid version allowing access from your mobile phone and tablets. The free option includes password backup which is why it’s been one of our favorite pieces of software for years.
If software on your computer drives your crazy enough, our last recommendation would be to look at Password Safe device easily found on Amazon.com. This little stand alone device holds up to 400 passwords and will keep your mind at ease when it comes to remembering the logins for your email or favorite website account.
Stay tuned for more posts from SDCH in regards to password managers to better assist you with the wild world of the internet. We will be working on our very own training videos very soon and will also be offering in person classes on how to better manage your passwords.