If you stop and think about it, you have hundreds of passwords and PINs to remember. It seems like I am creating an account on another website almost daily. So how am I suppose to remember all of these passwords? Hopefully you have grown beyond using one password for everything. If you haven’t, then please listen up, because you are putting your online accounts at risk.
Generally, a password must contain at least 8 characters and those 8 characters must contain a capital letter(s), lowercase letter(s), numbers(s) and usually a special character. The password should be UNIQUE, meaning that it is not a password that they have used anywhere else before. I know what you are thinking, there is no way i can remember that many passwords. That is where password managers come to the rescue.
What are Password Managers
Password managers keep up with all of your passwords so that all you have to do is remember one really strong password. When you need a password, simply unlock the password manager with the one and only password you have to remember and you can then lookup or have the password manager directly enter your password into the site.
I do not recommend allowing your password manager to automatically fill the username and password to a site without some kind of user intervention. A rogue WiFi landing page could steal your credentials without your knowledge. Most password managers allow you to disable this feature and if they don’t, I would look elsewhere for a password manager.
Many of the password managers allow you to store the URL in the password manager so that you can launch the site and autofill the username and password at the same time as a sort of smart bookmark. This is secure because you are going directly to that web site unlike the scenario described above in the warning.
Types of Password Managers
There are two basic types of password managers with some variations in use today. Cloud or web based and device based. What gets tricky, is that many of the device based solutions use the cloud to sync between devices. What I mean by cloud or web based though, is that all of your data is stored in the cloud.
There are a number players in the password manager field. Below is a list of some of the one’s I have come across. I recommend that you do your own research to see which one meets your needs.
1Password 5 by Agilebytes M W A I
Keeper by Keeper Security M W A I
eWallet by Ilium Software M W A I B
[Mac Windows Android iOS BlackBerry]
What Do I Use?
I still have a lot of my data in eWallet left over from days long ago when I had a BlackBerry (about 4 smartphones ago). Ilium came out with an iOS version so I stuck with it. It works, but doesn’t get mentioned much these days. Right now, I am trying out 1Password 5 and I love it so far.
What Should You Use?
Do your own research, and try one out. It depends on what platforms you need it to run on and which interface you like. Bottomline though, is you need to use a password manager so that you don’t fall into the trap of using the same password for everything.