Having cost the UK almost £11bn in the past year, online fraud and cybercrime are becoming increasingly uncomfortable facts of modern life. Yet even though many of us are becoming more clued up to such threats, some of us are still failing to take the necessary precautions.
For example, almost half of us are still using the same password across several online accounts, meaning that cybercriminals only have to obtain login information for one of these accounts to gain access to the rest.
Managing Passwords with a Password Manager
It’s understandable as to why many people reuse passwords, since keeping a tab on a separate password for each website can be difficult. However, there’s a way to avoid having to remember all those passwords without endangering our own online security.
Password managers allow users to have a different strong password for each of their online accounts and profiles. The best part of this is they only need to remember a master-password, which enables them to access their manager. Passwords are then stored encrypted and cannot be used without the master password. Many managers also offer additional features such as password generators, two-tier authentication to access the manager, and back up services among others.
Choose has put together five password managers that are available for free download today.
Dashlane is perhaps the most well-known of all the password managers, if only because it offers the most streamlined and easy-to-use interface. Yet aside from its simplicity, it offers several unique features, including the ability to automatically change your pre-existing passwords to more secure alternatives. Added to this, it also offers to randomly generate a strong password for you whenever you create a new account, and it can automatically fill in online forms.
Along with Dashlane, LastPass is the other most popular manager on the market. Besides all the regular manager features, it also allows its user to sync their passwords across all their devices, and even lets them securely share particular passwords with family and friends. On top of this, it also includes multifactor authentication, meaning that you’d need your master-password and your smartphone to log into your account.
Another good manager is Sticky Password. It offers all the standard features you’d expect — random password generation and autofill of online forms — yet its paid version also permits biometric authentication, using compatible smartphones to scan people’s fingerprints. Another unique feature is that it offers its user the ability to create an encrypted backup of their password on the cloud, just in case they lose their device.
An open-source and entirely free manager, KeePass is ideal for anyone who doesn’t like two-tier apps that save their best features for premium versions. Unlike its aforementioned rivals, it doesn’t automatically save your passwords to the cloud, keeping them instead saved locally on your device. Another nice feature is its auto-typing of login information, which pre-empts the rare hacker who might have been able to install a keylogger to your computer.
While RoboForm Everywhere doesn’t provide any particularly novel features that aren’t already available with other password managers, it’s entirely free if you stick to using it on your mobile. This makes it arguably one of the best options for those who use their smartphones for accessing the web more than a PC or Mac. And given that most people in the UK now do just that, this makes it quite an attractive proposition indeed.