Need a reminder of why strong passwords should be at the top of your technological priority list? Consider the story of Houston, TX, parents Marc and Lauren Gilbert, who on August 10th discovered a hacker had compromised their video baby monitor and was shouting lewd comments at their sleeping two-year-old daughter.
How did it happen? According to the family’s Internet service provider, a weak or nonexistent password for their Wi-Fi connection was the main culprit. Other high-profile password breaches include the Syrian Electronic Army hacking into the Facebook and Twitter accounts of high-profile news outlets like The New York Post and Washington Post, along with the recent proliferation of security researchers (or “ethical hackers”) pointing out the vulnerabilities of home automation systems.
What does this mean for you? As we’ve pointed out before, creating strong and unique passwords at least eight characters long that mix upper- and lower-case numbers, letters, and symbols is a necessity for online security. But what do you do with all of those unique passwords once they’re created? Write them down on a “secure” piece of paper? Count on your browser to remember them all? Hope you can figure them out when you’re using a mobile device?
That’s where the 5 password management tools listed below come in handy. Some are free, some charge a nominal fee, and some are capable of doing much more than just remembering that random string of characters you generated.
But remember: passwords represent just one facet of robust technological health. If you’re concerned about the safety of cloud computing, the critical nature of data backup and disaster recovery, or the essential need for anti-spam software, call or email CMIT Solutions today. We take your online security seriously!
Dashlane (free for single-use; $20/year to sync computer and mobile accounts)
Dashlane remembers all your passwords, automatically logs you in to password-protected websites, and also autofills other personal information, all of which is encoded via the two-factor authentication AES-256 encryption method.
LastPass (free for basic, $12/year for premium)
LastPass is very similar to Dashlane: it stores encrypted password data on your computer, unlocks everything with one master password, automatically fills forms, and syncs across browsers. The paid version adds support for mobile phones and tablets.
Norton Identity Safe (free)
The cheapest option of the bunch, Norton Identity Safe features basic password functionality across multiple computers, browsers, and mobile devices. A Norton toolbar also includes Safe Search browsing protection, and mobile apps for iOS and Android are also available.
RoboForm Everywhere ($9.95/year for first year; $19.95/year thereafter)
Roboform Everywhere provides unlimited access to password data on multiple computers and devices, also creating secure automatic backups of everything. The Everywhere level is pricy, but also includes desktop, Mac, and RoboForm2Go licenses.
1Password (From $49.99 – $99.99 depending on platform and number of licenses)
1Password creates, remembers, and restores strong and unique passwords directly within your browser, and also features automatic form-fill and personal information capabilities. 1Password also has its own iOS app and offers a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee.