5 helpful password managers that will help you protect your online data

5 helpful password managers that will help you protect your online dataIf you regularly access the web for business and personal use, then you are likely to have some concerns about online security.  You will probably have quite a few user ids and passwords that you need to remember.  Each password will be at least eight characters long and be a random collection of upper- and lower-case letters and symbols.  They are difficult to recall, particularly since one piece of online security advice is not to write them down.

Password Managers allow you to maintain online security by holding your user-id`s and passwords in a secure credential vault. Some will generate a strong password for you.  Most will automatically record and enter them for you when you go to a website needing credentials.   Most allow multiple implementations on desktop and mobile devices, syncing the credential vault between them.

Some allow you to keep your credential vault on your own PC, others give the option to keep it in their secure online storage.  Others can implement it on a portable device like a USB stick.  Having the credential vault in the cloud gives the option to use it on any device.  Mind you, keeping it on public cloud storage services like OneDrive or Dropbox does the same thing, but not so securely.

What should a password manager provide?  As a basic, strong password generation, browser integration and most importantly, secure storage of your credentials in a password vault.

Here are five password managers you might like to consider, some free, some not.

  1. LastPass


    You can download LastPass in either a Free or Premium version.  Both will provide strong password generation, browser integration and a secure key vault.   The free version will be adequate for most personal users.

    Other useful features of the free version include syncing of credentials across browsers, storage of text notes, and the ability to be able to use your secure vault from any Internet connected device via their website.

    The Premium version additionally provides file storage, advanced authentication and a contingency plan if you need to access your credentials in an emergency.

    There is one problem.  It is very popular and is therefore a target for hackers.  On the upside, there haven’t been any successful attacks as far as we know.

    A good solid offering.

  2. Dashlane


    Dashlane is as good as LastPass, offering the same features and functions.  It has top-notch security, password generation and browser integration. It’s easy to use with a pleasant user interface.

    There are bowser plugins and a mobile interface for their mobile versions.  The Premium version allows unlimited sharing and syncing across different devices.

    Dashlane are also working on their Project Mirror, a development that may well see the end of passwords.  Check out their website for more information.

    If you like LastPass, you should also look at Dashlane.

  3. RoboForm

    They claim that RoboForm is the best password manager in the world  and that might not be far off the truth.  It is not quite as feature rich as LastPass or Dashlane, but it does all the stuff a personal user might need.

    You can have unlimited storage for credentials in the free version and secure storage of notes, emergency access and multi-platform support.  The password generator allows you to specify the makeup of your password, omit specific character sequences for example, and which special characters to include. 

    Syncing between desktop and mobile implementations is easy and secure.

    It’s available for Windows, Android, Mac and IOS.

  4. Sticky Password

    Sticky Password

    The guys who brought you AVG Anti-Virus are the team behind Sticky Password.  You can be sure that they have treated security as a main priority.   AS with the others, there are free and paid-for versions.  The Paid-for version adds cloud backup and syncing.

    It’s not as feature rich as the other offerings described here, but does provide all the basics that you might need.   It provides a password generator, supports fingerprint authentication on mobile devices and can be implemented as a portable USB application.   An interesting feature is the use of WiFi to sync between WiFi enabled devices.   Browser extensions are available for most common browsers, but at the time of writing, not for Microsoft Edge.

    It’s available for Windows, Android, Mac and IOS.

  5. Keepass Password Safe

    Keepass Password Safe

    This offering isn’t quite as pretty as the others and may be suitable only for advanced users.  It does however provide robust security and a host of downloadable extensions and plugins on top of multi-user access.

    One unusual aspect is that it is open source.  This means that any security holes can be very  quickly identified and plugged.  It also means that there are a very wide range of plugins, particularly for browser integration and import and export of the credential vault.

    Again it is has a portable USB installation option.

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