5 Password Managers to Keep All Your Secrets Safe

5 Password Managers to Keep All Your Secrets Safe
Photo (cc) by Freddy The Boy

Techies like to tell us not to use the same password over and over again. Failing to heed their advice could mean you’re just one hack away from giving up access to all your online accounts.

We’re also told that not only do we need to have a different password for each account, they need to be “strong.” (For a look at the world’s weakest passwords, check out this article: “World’s Worst Passwords: Did Yours Make the List?“) This means you need to have an incomprehensible string of letters, numbers and characters if you want to avoid being hacked.

That’s all fine and dandy, but how are you going to remember all that strange gibberish you created for a password? Plus, having to type in “54%happyTB#1” is a real drag when you’re in a rush to bid on that eBay auction ending in 50 seconds.

Fortunately, we have an answer to your dilemma. It’s a password manager, and here are five of the best.

1. LastPass

  • Price: Free for your computer, $12 a year for mobile access
  • Supported operating systems: Windows, Apple, Linux
  • Supported browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer
  • Supported mobile devices: Apple, Android, Windows, BlackBerry

This password manager is the top pick of Money Talks News finance expert Stacy Johnson. Like other managers, LastPass uses a special encrypted master password that, in theory at least, ensures your password data is accessible only by you. The free version of LastPass will automatically fill-in passwords, generate strong passwords when needed and create one-time passwords for certain uses. Spring for the premium version, at $12 a year, and receive unlimited mobile syncing and priority tech support.

2. RoboForm

  • Price: Free for up to 10 logins, $29.95 for the desktop version, $39.95 for USB access or a $9.95 yearly subscription for unlimited use across all devices and platforms
  • Supported operating systems: Windows, Apple, Linux
  • Supported browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Internet Explorer
  • Supported mobile devices: Apple, Android, Windows

Many years ago, I went through a sweepstakes phase where I entered any and every online contest I could find. For this, I used RoboForm to fill in all the entry blanks. It was a handy tool and, as it turns out, it’s a handy password manager, too. Like LastPass, it requires the use of a master password, and it will generate and fill-in strong passwords for you. It will also enter your information into forms as needed, which can make for a simplified shopping experience when buying from a new site. On the downside, unlimited use of RoboForm can be more expensive than LastPass.

3. Dashlane

  • Price: Free for one device or $39.95 per year to sync across all devices
  • Supported operating systems: Windows, Apple
  • Supported browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer
  • Supported mobile devices: Apple, Android, Nook

Dashlane is another password manager worth your consideration. The free version lets you have unlimited access on one device while a premium membership syncs your account across multiple devices on supported platforms. If you decide to use Dashlane on one device, you can choose to have all your password data locally encrypted on your device rather than sent to a server. As a bonus, you get a digital wallet with both the free and premium versions, and premium users get a secure account back-up and priority tech support. Dashlane will also evaluate the security of your passwords, generate them as needed and auto-fill forms.

4. Keeper

  • Price: Free for one device, but backup service cost $9.95 per year for a single device or $29.99 per year for unlimited devices
  • Supported operating systems: Windows, Apple, Linux, Unix
  • Supported browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer
  • Supported mobile devices: Apple, Android, Windows, BlackBerry

If you have an AT&T Android or Windows phone, you probably already have Keeper pre-loaded on your device. You can also download a web app to use on your desktop or laptop. It offers password storage and cloud backup and will evaluate password strength or generate strong passwords as needed. However, you’ll need to use it on an Android device or web browser if you want to use the FastFill feature to fill and save log-in information. You can use Keeper for free on a single device, but if you want cloud storage of passwords and other data, you’ll need to pay.

5. PasswordBox

  • Price: Currently offering free premium access to new and existing customers
  • Supported operating systems: Windows, Apple
  • Supported browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer and Opera
  • Supported mobile devices: Apple, Android, Kindle

The final password manager to make our list is PasswordBox. The company has been around for about a year and a half and was recently acquired by Intel Security. To mark the occasion, in December 2014, PasswordBox began giving new and existing customers six months of free premium access. There’s no word as to how much it will cost after that, but it looks like the previous price was $11.99 per account. PasswordBox offers the ability to save passwords, automatically complete login forms and sync across multiple devices. You also get a digital wallet to save payment details. However, the most innovative feature offered by PasswordBox is its Legacy Locker, which passes on account information to your heirs when the time comes.

Do you use a password manager? Which one do you like and why? Share your top pick in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Identity theft can’t be ignored these days. Watch this video for other ways to prevent someone from stealing your personal information:

Maryalene LaPonsie and Geof Wheelwright contributed to this post.

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