Written by: Joanie Ogg, Co-Founder – Travel Professional NEWS
We all know how important password security is and most especially in these last 5 months when we have spent so much time online shopping for necessities and managing our businesses and everyday lives during Covid19. We have had to rely on getting supplies and food that were perhaps something we never even considered shopping for online. My list of passwords seems to have doubled or even tripled during lockdown! So, how do we keep track of these very important keys to unlock our purchasing online and assure we are making these passwords as secure as they can be?
Years ago we never imagined how complex passwords would need to become. The old 12345 backwards just does not fit the bill anymore. We want to choose passwords that we can remember, but we are constantly reminded not to use the same password on multiple sites. It is enough to make one’s head spin. Are there any viable tools and solutions out there to safely use in the password conundrum?
Password managers can be helpful for sure. They are available within your smartphone and they do offer some helpful functionality. They can store an unlimited number of different passwords across most of your devices for simplicity of use.
They always require you to choose and set up a Master Password (Hint: Don’t forget this very important password). There is also the option to further enhance the security by adding two-factor authentication. Coming up with a multitude of strong passwords might not be too difficult, but remembering them is an entirely different challenge. Many password managers offer you the option of generating a strong password for you. However, if this is a random set of numbers, letters, symbols, etc., it might not be too easy to remember. You can often create a password that is memorable to you and the password manager will rate the strength of your choice which can be a huge help.
There are so many password managers out there to choose from and the decision can almost make you dizzy, so how do you choose? Knowing in advance what features you will be using regularly can help you find the fit that is best for your needs. Following are some things you might want to consider when you are making your choice.
Cloud vs. Local Data Base
I think we are all slowly but surely becoming more comfortable in our understanding and usage of the infamous cloud environment. The biggest benefit using a cloud-based password manager is that it enables you to sync the information across your various devices. On the other hand, cloud storage that is managed by large companies is likely to more exposed and a tempting target to hackers.
The other option is to stick with an app that keeps your passwords encrypted right on your device. The benefit seen here is that you are less vulnerable to a potential breech or hack. The worry might be if you were to lose your device where your passwords are stored. Typically, the database is strongly encrypted and there is actually a standard you should look for which is the AES-256 Bit Encryption. Whatever password manager you choose should have encryption that adheres to the leading security standards of today. Also look for an app that provides regular updates and standards that are maintained.
To Pay or Not to Pay
Let’s just say that companies that offer paid services might be expected to deliver better quality support and maintenance on a regular basis. There are free and paid versions with most of the better programs. You can try out a few to see what best fits your needs and then dive into the paid version of your favorite if you choose. Free versions might be just fine for the casual user and for your private use. These might be limited in terms of the number of devices that can use it and the support option. Premium consumer options and corporate offers are also widely available for you to choose from.
Following are some of the best rated options available at the time this article is being published. Pick the option that suits your business or personal needs and enjoy the simplicity that password managers can offer.