As explained in the last post in this series, a good password manager is critical to staying safe online. It is also the key to working efficiently. With more and more websites requiring a new login each time they are used, the lowly username screen has become a source of stress for many.
Luckily, there are many options and here is a summary of the best of them.
1Password is definitely at the top of the list and well worth the small cost of $3 a month. It works on MacOS, iOS, Android, and Windows devices and can synchronize passwords between them. It even has a family plan for $5 a month that can organize shared passwords while still allowing each member to store private ones in the same account. As a bonus, it can store much more than passwords, including WiFi logins, credit card information, drivers license, and secure notes. Finally, it has a well written tutorial for new users that can be found here.
The next option is for MacOS / iOS users and is called iCloud Keychain. Apple’s free solution is great due to the integration with their default browser Safari. Once turned on, it fills in passwords automatically, suggests strong passwords for new websites, offers to save existing passwords, and synchronizes passwords between devices logged into the same iCloud account. It can also securely store and fill in credit card information to making online shopping quicker. The website 9to5Mac recently published a post on iCloud Keychain that is worth reading, “iCloud Keychain and Answering Your Common Password Management Concerns.”
For Windows users, Microsoft’s Edge browser built-in password management is fine too. For complex reasons, it is a little less secure than professional solutions, but better than nothing. The biggest drawback is that it cannot synchronize passwords between Windows and a mobile device like an iOS or Android phone.
Finally, KeePass is a free and open source password manager, but more complex to install and use. You can find it at http://keepass.info/.
There is a constant stream of online articles on the best practices for password management. The 9to5Mac posts, “How to Approach and Manage Passwords” and “How to Implement and Benefit From Password Management Software” dive deep into the subject. For people short on time, they both end with an excellent summary simply called, “Do This.” So what are you waiting for? Do This!!!