Whether you have a dozen log-ins for personal financial and bill-pay accounts, or you’re having trouble keeping track of the myriad of passwords necessary to access work applications, password vaults provide a secure way to store and manage usernames and passwords. To ensure you don’t open yourself to security vulnerabilities, it’s essential to use strong, reliable password management tools.
Online Password Management
One type of tool is a password manager that stores your passwords on the computer and either allows you to select login information from a drop down menu as you navigate the Internet or automatically completes usernames and passwords for you. Some browsers come with a free, basic version of this service. The automatic entry doesn’t work if you’ve deleted certain cookies or are using a more secure service or application.
You can boost password management with a password vault. Some of the best services for versatile password management include Kaspersky Password Manager and RoboForm Desktop 7. Either program will run you between $25 and $30, but they include all the options you need to make online form entry and password management efficient. For multi-page logins, you’ll need a more powerful solution. MyLOK Password captures the information you enter on multiple pages and automatically enters it next time you log on; the service costs $89.95.
Password Vaults & Management Apps
Another option for storing and managing passwords is to download a secure application to your smartphone or tablet. This can be risky, as storing information directly on a portable device makes is susceptible to theft. Opt for an application that encrypts data and allows one-touch entry into sites when you access them from your mobile device. One free password vault app is PasswordBox, which is available from iTunes. LastPass is another that works well with Android phones.
Avoid Hard Copies of Passwords
Avoid jotting passwords down on paper or keeping a master list of all log-ins in hard-copy form. It’s actually easier to steal hard copy than it is to break into encrypted password vaults. If you do record passwords on paper for temporary use, shred the page as soon as possible.
If you use the right password manager, the only password you’ll have to remember is the one to unlock your password vault.