Review: Password Management Programs
Ah, passwords. Our online world is now filled with them. How do we remember, organize, and keep our passwords safe and secure? Several companies have recognized and filled this need with secure password-management apps. Here we take a look at three popular programs and a stand-alone password-generating app. We suggest you look at each one of them, and perhaps others, to see which app best suits your needs.
RoboForm is a respected and popular free password manager that can synchronize across all your devices. RoboForm requires you to remember only one master password: the one to open the program. It includes bookmark-style logins that take just one click to log in to your favorite and most-used websites. It can generate secure passwords so you don’t keep using the same password on all the websites and programs you use. Read more about RoboForm and download the free app here.
LastPass is a password manager with an easier and prettier interface than RoboForm’s (in this writer’s opinion, anyway). LastPass offers three versions: Free, Premium, and Enterprise (for businesses). The free version is good if you use only one device, such as your desktop or tablet. If you use multiple devices and want the app to sync across them all, then you will want the Premium version. It is certainly a bargain at just $1 a month, which is paid in a single payment of $12 for a year. For business use, the Enterprise level centralizes employee passwords and allows up to 100 employees to use the app. It offers a lot of power and many more functions at just $24 a year. Check out LastPass here.
KeePass describes itself as “a lightweight and easy-to-use password manager.” What makes KeePass different from the others is that it is open source, meaning it has been developed and improved by several developers and operates only by donation. It can be used across several platforms, such as Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. It can be used on smartphones and other devices. It is also portable, which means you can actually carry the app on a USB stick to run it on Windows on any computer. Read more about KeePass here.
All of these programs use an encrypted database that keeps your passwords safe and secure, and they all require you to remember just a single password to enter the program itself. Explore each app to see which one appeals to you and best meets your needs.
If you prefer to have an app that creates fast and secure passwords for you without the security of a password-management program, you can simply use Passwords Generator. Just be aware that you will have to track the generated password yourself if you are not using a password manager app.
*(Editor’s note: Dr. Networking recommends that you do not use password-management programs to store banking and other highly sensitive passwords. Either memorize these passwords or write them down and keep them in a secure location.)
~ Jessica Vineyard
Catching up with Steve Wilson…
In researching the article above, we caught up with one of Dr. Networking’s longtime clients, Steve Wilson, who is a fan of RoboForm. You may remember Steve from the many years he was with Ashland Insurance. He is now representing Legal Shield, a company that has been providing affordable legal services to individuals and small businesses across the country for more than forty years.
Steve used RoboForm when he was working with Ashland Insurance to protect the business’s sensitive information. He found it to be a tremendous timesaver and quite secure, noting that “we no longer had binders filled with passwords that constantly changed and required updating.” When Steve started with Legal Shield, he got a new computer and decided to try a few other password-management apps. He found himself going back to RoboForm, however, as it was “more intuitive and easier to use.” (We love having first-hand information from real users!)
About his new career, Steve says, “I love working with Legal Shield because I can help my clients avoid the high hourly cost of attorneys by using the ‘fixed fee for service’ business model. This model is being adapted by more and more businesses, such as Netflix, for example, which charges a flat monthly fee for unlimited use. Locally, Valley Immediate Care and many bookkeeping services are doing the same. I am really glad to be involved with a company that is forty years ahead of the curve!”
Please contact Steve Wilson of Legal Shield by texting or calling him at 541-941-9207. For more information online, or to sign up for ID theft protection with Steve, please visit his website at LegalShield.com.