How to Keep Your Passwords Safe Online + 4 Free Tools
About the author: Lamar Watson, CFP®, is a Fee-Only Financial Advisor in the Washington, D.C. area, that works with clients virtually across the country. Lamar's work with his clients focuses on budgeting, employee benefits, paying down debt, buying their first home, and investing. Lamar is the Founder of Dream Financial Planning, a virtual financial planning firm specifically designed to help young professionals and minorities take control of their finances and fulfill their dreams. Feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn how we use the The DREAM Financial Planning Process ™ to help our clients achieve their goals.
How many times have you gotten a reminder to update your password before it expires? Or to make sure your password contains a capital letter, number, and symbol? It might feel like an annoyance at the time, but these are just some of the steps that come with keeping your personal information safe.
Passwords that are "weak" or used too often make it much easier for cybercriminals to steal your information. Once a cybercriminal gets a list of stolen passwords, they use password cracking software, which can be found online in order to find thousands or even millions of passwords in one fell swoop.1
Your goal should be to have a strong or unique password for every account, which may seem like a bit of a nuisance, but in reality, it is very important to keep your passwords safe. Luckily, there are tools out there that you can use to keep your information secure, and what's even better is that many of them offer free versions. Check out these four free tools that you can use in order to keep your passwords safe.
4 Free Tools to Keep Your Passwords Safe
LastPass serves as a free, secure password creation center and storage for all of your accounts.2 You can get it as a free system or upgrade to a premium membership and either will generate and store any number of different logins in a secure vault that's protected by your master password, with multi-factor authentication for added security.
The free version also offers secure storage for text notes, syncing of credentials across browsers, and access to your secure vault from any internet-connected device via LastPass.com. It will refuse to autocomplete forms on known phishing websites, and you can export your data at any time if you decide to switch to a rival password manager. LastPass users enjoy features like:
- Unlimited login storage
- Automatic form completion
- Strong password generation
For sheer convenience and ease of use, LastPass is hard to beat.
Dashlane is LastPass's closest competitor and features one-click password generation, amazing security, it is very easy to use and the ability to store notes for the future.3
It's not just a Windows desktop program either; there are browser plugins and mobile versions, and similar to LastPass there's a premium version of Dashlane that includes unlimited sharing and syncing.
Dashlane Premium costs $39 per year, but the free version features all the essentials, such as:
- Core password manager
- Digital wallet feature
3. Keeper Security
Obviously, when you're protecting passwords, security is of the utmost importance and Keeper Security is one of the oldest password managers out there.4
Keeper Security offers services from password managers to a dark web scan and private messaging systems, not just protecting your passwords. Keeper's primary target audience is big companies and organizations, and it also offers plans for students, families, and personal accounts.
The user experience is very intuitive on both desktop and mobile and offers:
- Powerful security
- Good browser extension
- Multi-platform access
This desktop manager has free mobile apps and other great aspects, such as:
- Stores unlimited logins
- Stores notes
And now, RoboForm has added support for storing a limitless amount of logins in its free version.5 It also boasts application logins, secure storage of notes, multi-platform support, and the ability to gain emergency access.
RoboForm Everywhere allows you to sync across devices, cloud backup, and the ability to gain emergency access yourself. While it may not have as many features as its competitors, it is still considered a top password manager, and the free mobile app is an added bonus for when you're on the go. RoboForm's password generator is particularly strong, allowing you to exclude similar characters and specify which special characters you need to meet specific password requirements.
Regardless of what password security tool you decide to use, it's so important to keep your passwords as secure as possible. With all the different accounts you log into on a day-to-day basis, storing multiple passwords in these applications can make it much more manageable, helping you to log into various accounts securely and with ease.
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