Especially in the last year, with so many of us working rom home, managing passwords has become a complicated game – making sure that each password is different from the other, alongside trying to remember them all. While there are built-in password managers from Apple, Google and Microsoft, there are plenty of third-party tools that give you even greater control over your passwords.
We’ve all been in the situation where we don’t change them; we leave them as ‘Password1’, or ‘Westlife1’, because we’ve become familiar with the rhythm of typing in the same phrase, every morning. But events such as World Password Day on May 6 are encouraging all of us to move away from this, to keep them more secure from hackers.
Managing them across many devices can become tiresome, especially if you need to log in to a site that requires you to enter the password manually every single time.
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Importance of passwords
In 2021, we have apps and devices where using passwords is crucial. They are the wall between the door and your content. Passwords can take many forms, such as a six-digit code, or a word with a number, but as hackers become more sophisticated in accessing your data, greater efforts are now needed to protect your accounts.
Businesses now require passwords to be changed frequently; whether it's every month to every six months, changing them often can help keep your account secure in case your login details are released in a data breach.
Strong passwords that can't be cracked with a simple dictionary attack (opens in new tab) are essential. Having a phrase with capitalized letters and symbols in place of letters is a great start, alongside any characters at the start or in the middle of the phrase as well. There are password generators (opens in new tab) that can generate strong passwords for you, but that doesn’t solve the issue of storing them securely.
Best password managers
This is where a password manager can help. While Apple and Google have their own built-in systems, it always helps to have a third-party app so you can use it for a multitude of devices, not just those owned by the respective companies.
Great UI, great management of your passwords
1Password (opens in new tab) is a great go-to password manager that can be used on iOS, Android, Linux, Mac and Windows, as well as your web browser.
You can create vaults that will store passwords for certain apps and sites, and by using a master password, you can gain access to these when needed.
1Password helps create new passwords too, so if you’re struggling for something new, the app can generate a new one to use and store when needed.
1Password also has a useful web extension that can help protect you from other vulnerabilities, such as key-logging and phishing attacks, further proving its worth as a great overall password manager.
While it’s free to use for 14 days, there is a £3.49/$3.99/AU$4.49 monthly subscription to use all of its features.
Simple manager with a low-price for its subscription
LastPass (opens in new tab) is a password manager that makes it easy to see which site passwords you have saved, and generate new ones.
Its UI is straightforward and easy to use, showing your valuable information front and centre when required.
While its free account allows one user to store their passwords on one device, LastPass's premium plan allows one user to share their stored passwords across all their devices, including iPhones, Android phones and tablets, and Windows and macOS devices via browser extensions.
There’s even 1GB of file storage, so you can store any important documents when needed, to keep them separate from the cloud services you already use.
A paid manager with access on unlimited devices
Keeper (opens in new tab) is more focused to businesses and those in enterprise, but that doesn’t mean that it’s exclusive to those industries.
Accessible through a personal plan of £2.49/$3.49/AU$4.49 a month, it lets you store an unlimited number of passwords across an unlimited number of devices.
Available on iOS, Android, and a multitude of web browsers such as Chrome and Edge, Keeper's UI design with a blue colour scheme is easy to navigate so you can access your passwords quickly.
There’s also a useful family plan at £5.99/$8.39/AU$10.49 that allows five members to store their own passwords, alongside 10GB of file storage.
There’s also a useful feature where Keeper will notify you if any of your passwords have been involved in a data leak, and can quickly prompt you to change it when required.
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