• Alice Brown

Password Managers; Why You Need One and Which are Best

Password managers can allow you to use a strong password for each of your websites or applications without being troubled by forgetting your login, but which is best?

In a new age of data security and online privacy we are becoming more aware of the risks that our personal information and online accounts are more than ever at risk of being compromised, but simultaneously we exist in a time where there has never been a wider availability of options to protect our online life.


A study by Dashlane found that the average person has around 130 accounts assigned to a single email address, and further, a digital guardian study found that around 67% of people had a 'weak' or 'very weak' password, and were 11% more likely to remember their password by writing it down than using a password manager, even more concerning is that more than half of users didn't know or didn't use two factor authentication where it is available. These statistics are concerning but to put it into perspective 1/5 Americans have had at least one of their online accounts compromised, which should prompt you to take better care of your online security.


So what is a password manager? A password manager, exists as an application that you can use on any of your devices, phones, laptops, and computers to store all of your passwords in one place, safely and securely, it acts like a digital safe for your passwords and allows for you to have a different and unique password for all of your accounts, which allows for extra security, and to access it (and essentially all of your other accounts) you only need to remember one password.


Are password managers safe? Some may be concerned at the thought of putting all of their passwords in one place, as if the server goes down or suffers an attack, you might not be able to access your passwords — or they could end up in the hands of a hacker or as part of a leaked database. But it is important that you ensure your devices are secure before using any password manager. But using a password manager is definitely a safer option than repeat passwords despite any potential (unlikely) risks. There really are no guarantees against cybercrime no matter what protections you do or don't take, but a password manager is the agreed to be the easiest way to protect yourself online.


Password managers have been around for some time, but unfortunately some of the most popular among them have changed their settings so that they are no longer free, or that the free version is so limited that it offers practically no use, which is what happened around five years ago with Evernote, most recently LastPass has also made the switch to a limited and paid version, prompting users to either start paying, or switch to a new password manager. There are a number of great versions that are paid apps, and their quality speaks for the price, below are some of the best rated options, if you'd rather not pay, they have a free version and a paid option for the services.


LastPass

LastPass's free option offers convenient, reliable password management with access on all your devices for free, including a secure password vault, access on all devices, save & auto-fill passwords, password generator and one-to-one sharing.

Pricing option; for £2.60 per month you can go premium which offers multi-device password sharing with 1GB of encrypted file storage for personal security


LogMeOnce

LogMeOnce’s free version provides unlimited passwords was well as offering use on unlimited devices, along with autofill, sync, password generation, and two-factor authentication.

Pricing option: Additional features start at $2.50 a month and include emergency access, additional password sharing, and priority technical support, among others.


1Password

1Password is a paid only option but it does offer a 14 day free trial.

Pricing option; The paid version costs $2.99 per month and offers apps for Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and Chrome OS as well as unlimited passwords, items, and 1 GB document storage, friendly 24/7 email support, 365 day item history to restore deleted passwords, travel Mode to safely cross borders and two-factor authentication for an extra layer of protection.


Bitwarden

Bitwarden is a well-known and highly praised open source password manager, it offers a wide selection of features, including saving unlimited items, syncing across devices, and generating passwords.

Pricing option: For $10 a year, you can add 1GB of encrypted file storage and two-step login, among other extras.


Keepass

Keepass is another open-source password manager, but it is better suited for more technically adept users. None of the data is cloud stored, which can be more secure, but it is less convenient because passwords are stored in a master key-locked encrypted database, meaning you would have to manually transfer your password database from one device to another, but Keepass is completely free, and there isn't a paid option.




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