Using unique passwords and changing them regularly is a sound strategy for protecting your data online. However, remembering all your passwords can be difficult, especially for sites you don’t use regularly.
We recommend using a password manager to keep track of all your passwords and manage access to the different sites and apps you use. Read on to find out about the password managers we recommend and the features that will help you stay safe online.
LastPass (Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome)
LastPass is a fantastic password manager offering free and premium (paid) features. Once you create a master password, simply import all saved login credentials — usernames and passwords — from Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Opera, and Safari. It then helps you delete information from your computer to keep it secure, prompting you to do little more than remember your super-secure master password.
Other free LastPass features include two-factor authentication, free credit monitoring, multiple identities, and even an auto-fill feature designed to streamline your shopping experience. LastPass also stores your encrypted information on its cloud servers, meaning you can use LastPass on computers other than your PC and easily share passwords with family members. It even comes outfitted with a password generator to create unique passwords.
The premium suite opens up a host of additional authentication options, stellar tech support, and the ability to sync information between your desktop and mobile devices. The company’s due diligence sees continued updates to keep your information safe and secure.
Dashlane (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)
Dashlane is intuitive and straightforward, bolstered by two-factor authentication and the ability to change numerous passwords spanning multiple sites with just a few clicks. The fact that Dashlane’s memory footprint gets smaller with every update is only a plus, as is its ability to store important notes securely. It even shares encrypted passwords with emergency contacts in case you have trouble with your account.
Dashlane allows you to store passwords locally within an encrypted vault, or automatically sync them across your devices. Its digital wallet grants you a convenient means for making and tracking purchases at various online retailers — even if you don’t have a previous Dashlane account.
Dashlane easily scours your receipts if needed. Have an account on a hacked site and service? Dashlane automatically resets your password without ever having to navigate away from the interface.
Business versions require an annual fee.
1Password (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)
Features packed into this excellent password management tool include a strong password generator, username and password storage, secure sharing, and an intuitive user interface. It even includes a built-in “watchtower” service designed to notify you of ongoing website breaches.
The software’s digital wallet securely saves everything from logins and credit card information to sticky notes and network passwords. The developers are so confident in this tool’s security that they offered a $100,000 prize for anyone who could break it.
1Password’s biggest drawback is the lack of a free version, as the service costs $3 a month when billed annually. This subscription not only allows you to sync everything locally, but sync your info between computers too via Dropbox, iCloud, or another convenient method.
The availability of a family plan covering up to five PCs for $5 a month is a nice touch.
Keeper Security Password Manager (Mac, Windows, Linux)
Keeper Security offers a range of password solutions for enterprise, business, family, and personal use. It’s one of the most scalable password managers currently available.
This password manager uses two-factor authentication and secure file storage to keep your information protected. It also provides many practical features that personal users will greatly appreciate. These include version history, which can restore previous versions of your records as needed in case something goes wrong. It provides emergency password access for five different contacts as well.
Keeper offers more flexibility than many password managers regarding what data you can store. Custom fields allow you to keep passport info, driver’s license numbers, and other important records in the app.
Bitwarden (Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Browsers)
Bitwarden is a free, open-source password manager launched in 2016. The “open source” label means the code is available on GitHub and open for anyone to evaluate. According to the company, it’s audited by independent security researchers and third-party security auditing firms.
Getting started is easy. Just create a free account by entering your email address, a master password, and then verify your email. After that, you can manually create “items” consisting of login credentials, a credit card, an identity (license, social security number, etc.), or a secure note. You’ll also find a handy password generator.
Bitwarden offers a premium subscription for just $10 per year. This annual plan adds 1GB of encrypted storage for file attachments, two-step login options, a TOTP verification code (2Fa) generator, data breach reports, and more. You can add additional storage for $4 per gigabyte per year.
If you don’t want to install Bitwarden directly to your PC, you can grab browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and three others. You can also access your Bitwarden vault using any web browser on any device. Bitwarden stores encrypted data in the cloud for synchronization purposes.
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