How to Never Forget a Password
How to never forget a password again in the days of data breaches. These days we are facing a data breach almost every time we turn on the news! When a data breach happens you have to change the passwords for almost all of your accounts and devices that were affected by the breach. This can be a painful and time-consuming process, not to mention keeping track of all the different passwords you have for all the different sites in accounts that you manage daily.
If you want to protect yourself online one of the things you can do is use a password manager that is compatible with your browser. With a password manager, you won’t have to memorize tens of dozens of passwords, honestly, you don’t even need to know what the passwords are. All good password managers create passwords for you and store them and then automatically fill them when you need to login to a website. Additionally, some password managers can even fill in complete passwords for you across multiple devices such as Android phones iPhones tablets, and more.
Why you’re strong password isn’t as strong as you think?
Not too long ago you could use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters and that would be all you need to create a strong password. Of course, you couldn’t use a dictionary word or a password such as a password itself but that was usually strong enough to get you by. Unfortunately in today’s world, those types of passwords can be easily cracked in minutes not even hours.
How to Create a Strong Password
To create a strong password today you need to have a good length for the password. For example, a password like “123SesameStreet” which is a 15 digit password is much stronger than a random 9 digit password. a 15 letter password would take over 50 years to hack according to the website “ how secure is my password?”. Shorter passwords can be hacked in only a few hours.
Should I use Cloud or Local Storage?
Choosing between cloud or local storage typically comes down to cost. The best password managers offer local storage for free. However, if you want to store your passwords in the cloud, which means your information will be stored on their servers, you will probably have to pay extra. As you read further we will go over the top password managers and their features. You should probably test two or three before you decide on a password manager.
How to use a Password Manager and Not Forget Passwords
Password managers are very small programs that you install on your browser which help you manage all your passwords and more importantly generate secure passwords. For iPhone and Android, they usually come in the form of apps. If you are installing on your browser they will be in the form of a plug-in.
The good news is once you install an app or browser plugin you will only need to remember one password, which would be the password to log into the password manager. Moreover, when you sign up for a new account to a website or service the password manager will create a secure password for you and store it in its database. Password managers allow you to specify the password length and whether you want it to be alphanumeric or contain special characters. The passwords stored in the app manager database will be encrypted as well. Some very good password managers are free, while others require an annual fee for more advanced features.
If you don’t know, 1Password is a very popular password manager that is available for Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android. 1Password stores all of your passwords locally on your device. For a small fee, they do offer cloud storage as well. Also, 1Password offers the option of using Dropbox or iCloud to store your passwords and share them across devices. For your home network, it can use Wi-Fi to synchronize your passwords locally on your home network.
Dashlane is a great password manager and it’s a way to never forget a password again and has become popular in the past few years. I’ve even seen Dashlane commercials on TV. Dashlane uses a two-step authentication process when you register a device. The two-Step authentication process gives you even more security, especially for your master password. Dashlane is free for one device however there is a small fee if you want to sync across multiple devices. Additionally, with the fee, you do get premium support from Dashlane.
You may or may not have heard of KeePass which is an open-source project and free to use. That being said you may need some more technical knowledge to use all of its features. For example, to synchronize your passwords across multiple devices you would need to install a plugin. You would probably need several different plugins and scripts to do some basic things that are already included, other password managers. Moreover, KeePass allows you to use cloud storage applications like Dropbox Google Docs and Microsoft OneDrive. KeePass also allows you to create a password file and share it with many users. So if you are technically savvy, Keepass may be a good choice for you.
LastPass – this how I never forget a password!
Next up we have LastPass which is one of the most popular password managers available. It is mostly free but they do have a premium service. LastPass stores all of its information, your work passwords, in its cloud. This means with a basic installation of LastPass you get synchronization across all of your devices included, all in their basic free version. I’ve been using LastPass myself for years, and I’ve had very few problems with it. One issue I have found is that LastPass often competes with built-in password managers in Chrome and Firefox.
My recommendation is that if you use LastPass you should probably not use the built-in password managers as they compete to fill forms to complete passwords for the same site and cause bad logins and confusion.
A relative newcomer to the field is SplashID. Splash ID is a nice little password manager which gives you many options. With SplashID you get support for Apple, Android, Windows, and even Blackberry. SplashID offers one device free and the ability to sync or synchronize multiple devices for a small fee. One nice feature that SplashID has that others do not is the ability to decide to choose between cloud-based and local storage for your passwords. This is a great security option because certain information such as a bank account password would probably be safer on your local computer versus the cloud.
BitWarden – the best free way to never forget a password again!
Last but not least is BitWarden which has become a very popular choice it is open source and free. Personally, my experience with Bitwarden was great! If I wasn’t a long time LastPass user I’d probably go with BitWarden. Bitwarden has limitations, however, it’s very polished and user-friendly.
The primary advantage of bitwarden is that it is open-source. When your app open-source anyone can look at the code and check it for bugs and fix them. Doing so you have a lot more people reviewing the code which makes it even safer to go with long-term. Furthermore, BitWarden was audited by third parties to ensure it is secure. You can even install BitWarden on a self-host and run your cloud.
BitWarden also has apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Please note that BitWarden also has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Brave, and Vivaldi.
With Bitwarden you have a semi-automated password filling tool. When you go to a site where BitWarden has a password and username stored you’ll see a little icon that shows you the BitWarden has login information for that site. This is especially helpful if you have multiple accounts for a website. If you want fully automated password completion BitWarden supports that as well.
There are many great options when selecting a password manager for your computer or mobile device. If I were starting today I’d probably choose between Bitwarden and LastPass. I’ve concluded this because they both offer great free options with features that would be suitable for most users. If you want a premium service Dashlane would be a great place to start because it is so user-friendly. I hope this article helps you choose a password manager. These password managers offer a nice beginning to a more secure easier to use internet experience.