In an increasingly digital world, our lives are continuously integrating more and more with the internet and all of its capabilities. For the most part, this is beneficial for each of us in that it streamlines the daily responsibilities of our existence. Our banking, wealth management, communication, daily work needs are now mostly fulfilled online. However, one of the significant downsides to this new world we live in is that we find ourselves with so many different online accounts, usernames, and passwords that it becomes a challenge to keep track of it all. We forget our passwords or can’t remember what email address we used to create an account. Even worse, we digress to using the same username and password for every account, leaving ourselves exposed to hackers and other security threats. To avoid the headaches of managing your login credentials and all the subsequent security issues, you need to have a reliable system in place that’s easy to use and can provide the protection you need. Fortunately, these five stellar ways to manage passwords can do just that.
Consistently one of the top-ranked ways to manage passwords out there, LastPass offers both a web browser extension and a desktop or mobile device app compatible with almost any. With LastPass, you only have to remember your master password to get into the site where you can then store all your login credentials in your vault. Adding logins is quick and easy. You can let LastPass add them for you when you log in, import sites from your email, or import or upload sites from another password manager.
LastPass is also one of the leaders in security, using advanced AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256, salted hashes to adequately protect your data in the cloud, and 2FA authentication. The software will also only encrypt and decrypt your data at the device level, meaning the keys to do so are never sent to LastPass’ servers and are never accessible by LastPass. All these features are available with their free plan, but they also offer low-cost premium plans that provide more features with online backups and sharing capabilities.
Another leader among all the ways to manage passwords, 1Password might take the cake for the sleekest looking password manager out there. The software has all the standard fare of top-notch password managers, except with a few additional benefits. For one, it’s ‘Watchtower’ feature keeps an eye out for password breaches and other potential security issues so you can keep all your accounts safe.
It will check for weak, compromised, or duplicated passwords and will inform you if a particular site is missing two-factor authentication or using unsecured HTTP. One interesting feature of 1Password is it’s lack of 2FA, relying instead on end-to-end encryption and secret keys to confirm your identity. 1Password does not have any free plans, but it’s most basic plan starts at only $2.99 per month, so it’s affordable on anybody’s budget.
Users report Dashlane as being one of the most user-friendly ways to manage passwords, and they love the vast array of features it offers. Some of the more notable features of Dashlane include password storage and autofill, a strong password generator, and secure notes and documents. Dashlane also provides pretty extensive ongoing security monitoring with its ‘Identity Dashboard’ where the software will scan the web for leaked or stolen personal data, alert you instantly if it finds your information in any unsavory places, and helps protect you online through the use of a Virtual Private Network. Dashlane offers a free plan that can store up to 50 passwords on one device, or you can purchase their premium plan for $4.99 per month that provides unlimited password storage along with automatic data and password sync across multiple devices.
While not the sexiest of the bunch, StickyPassword still adeptly accomplishes its role as a password manager. Just like all the previous three software options listed above, StickyPassword can store all your passwords, automatically fill forms and login for you, generate super strong passwords whenever needed, and encrypt and sync data across all your devices. One of the significant features that separate it from the crowd, however, is its ability to handle desktop application logins, so if you’re a regular user of password-protected desktop software, this may be the solution for you.
As for security, StickyPassword is the brainchild of the same team that created AVG Antivirus, so you know these guys are the real deal. They use AES-256 bit encryption, which is the world’s most advanced encryption standard and the same used by the U.S. military and government, 2-factor authentication, and a master password never stored anywhere.
StickyPassword is also one of the cheapest options out there. They have a free forever plan that offers unlimited encrypted password and data storage for all your devices and browsers, but if you need a little extra oomph, including cloud and local WiFi sync, sharing features, or secure cloud backup, their premium plan is only $29.99 per year or $149.99 for lifetime premium access.
The last of the Mohicans here, Bitwarden is an open-source password manager that offers 2-factor authentication, end-to-end encryption, and a completely free forever version that syncs across multiple devices (unlike the free versions of the other password managers). Even better, the Bitwarden infrastructure can is compatible with any platform you choose, so if you don’t want to rely on the cloud version, you don’t have to. Like StickyPassword, they also have a native desktop application you can use that’s compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux.
One of the cool aspects of the software being open-source is that it’s free for anyone to review, audit, and contribute to its codebase, so it’s 100% transparent and has more room to improve quicker than the other software that isn’t open-source. Bitwarden does offer premium plans for families or business use that include larger storage capacity, sharing capabilities, and more. The Families plan is only $1 per month, and the full Enterprise level is only $3 per month, so it’s the cheapest option of all the password managers we’ve listed here.
The Bottom Line
With the wide variety of free and low-cost ways to manage passwords, you can say goodbye to the days of forgetting your login credentials or facing security threats. The only thing that should be holding you back is deciding which one you want to use, and, hopefully, our simple guide here provides a perfect place for you to start.
Forefront Wealth Partners is an independently-owned financial advisory firm based out of Austin, TX that specializes in engaging, educating, and empowering each client to live their best life, keeping their most important values in mind. Forefront provides personalized, knowledgeable, transparent, and cutting-edge advice to bring simplicity and confidence concerning financial, tax, and legal strategies. This is Life Planning Simplified®. Schedule a time to chat with us today.
The information given herein is taken from sources that IFP Advisors, LLC, dba Independent Financial Partners (IFP), IFP Securities LLC, dba Independent Financial Partners (IFP), and its advisors believe to be reliable, but it is not guaranteed by us as to accuracy or completeness. This is for informational purposes only and in no event should be construed as an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or products. Please consult your tax and/or legal advisor before implementing any tax and/or legal related strategies mentioned in this publication as IFP does not provide tax and/or legal advice. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and do not take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situation, or needs of individual investors. This report may not be reproduced, distributed, or published by any person for any purpose without IFP’s express prior written consent.
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