Having strong passwords is important, but with the number of web services requiring a password these days, it can be tempting to use the same one for multiple sites. To make the creation and storage of complex and differing passwords less taxing, several applications and services are available to safely store your passwords so that you don’t have to remember a specific website’s password. With these apps, you create one “master” password that holds the key to the passwords of all the websites you visit. You can enter the password for a given website into the app and essentially forget about it. The app will encrypt your password so it will only be available when you enter your one master password. It is of course essential that your master password be a good one (long and complex), but remembering just one of these is far easier than remembering dozens of them, right?
There are a number of password management services and apps. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting one:
- How safe is the service you’re subscribing to? Be sure to research the product online and read reviews from trusted sites like www.pcworld.com and www.cnet.com. Be sure to check out blogs like lifehacker.com and www.howstuffworks.com that can also provide a good range of views and real-life opinions.
- Where will you primarily be accessing your passwords? If you use only one computer, this may not be a top concern for you. However if you use a work desktop, log onto your smartphone on your lunch break, and then come home to your notebook you may want to consider a service that works across multiple platforms and devices. Syncing your password storage will make your life easier and will require less manual updating across all your desktops. For smartphone users, here are a few reasons to consider this feature.
- How much do you want to spend? Services vary in their offerings just as much as they do in their charges. Weigh your options.
For reviews and a list of the top password management products being offered today, refer to the following articles:
- From PC Mag: Six Great Password Managers
- From CNET a list of the top downloaded password managers and reviews: Password Managers
- From Lifehacker: Five Best Password Managers