We all know that keeping secure online is important and like or loath them passwords are a crucial part of that. Too many of us have one or two simple passwords that we use across many sites which exposes to hacks, server problems, and privacy breaches but we do it for convenience. We pick passwords made of easy to guess information like maiden names or birth dates or that in the dictionary. This is not secure but what should we do?
What we should do is use strong, unique secure passwords for each of our online accounts. Easy to say, but not so easy to do. We use the simple passwords again and again because it’s just not realistic to remember 50 different random alphanumeric strings. This is where a password manager comes in. Most password managers have the added benefits of being able to suggest random decent passwords and syncing over multiple machines and a host of other addons but at their core they are password storage systems
1Password is a cross platform program that uses Dropbox to sync your password data to all its devices. It can automatically log you in, save passwords and generate passwords. It currently does not have a Windows client (although it is in the works) and is very popular among Apple users.
A single user multiple device copy is $39.95 (£25.66) or a 5 user multiple device copy is $59.95 (38.50).
LastPass is a very very popular cross platform manager that stores all of your password data on its servers. It can automatically log you in, save passwords and generate passwords. It encrypts your data on your system and shares that data to your other systems where you can decrypt it – the advantage of this is that LastPass the company has no access and no way to access your passwords.
Keepass is the alternative resolution for open-source enthusiasts and is highly cusomisable making it possibly more suitable for business. It is however very usable in a simpler more and is free. It offers all the normal log ins, saving and password generation and is cross platform on almost every possible system, including Linux.
So which is best? That depends on your situation. If you’re very embedded in Apple then 1Password is excellent. If you’re very cost sensitive, on Linux or want to customize your setup extensively then Keepass and Lastpass is arguably best for those who go cross platform. Personally I use Lastpass as I tend to go between a lot of systems but whichever system you use will be a huge potential improvement on your current security.