Password Managers

Online security breaches have been on the rise, and one way to protect yourself is with a good password management system. The basics of any useful system include features to help you create, remember, and securely store long, strong, and complex passwords.

Here are three of the top options. They all include the basics, and some do more, like send you a security alert when there has been a breach at a site you use, or prompt you to add newly created passwords to your master database.

Don’t worry too much about which one to choose. It’s not hard to export data between systems if you decide to try a different one later.

LastPass
This pioneering cloud-based system includes extras like security alerts and a security audit, which tests the strength of all your passwords and makes recommendations for improving them. The basic version (free) gives you unlimited backup and syncing for one device; you’ll need to upgrade to premium ($12/year) for unlimited syncing across mobile and desktop devices. There’s also an enterprise version for businesses.
lastpass.com

Dashlane
This option offers both off- and online capabilities: you can store your passwords only on your device or sync them online if you’d prefer. Dashlane allows you to share passwords with your emergency contacts and gets high marks for its user-friendliness. The basic version is free; the premium version ($40/year) lets you sync across multiple devices and gives you faster access to support.
dashlane.com

KeePass
This offline open-source system can reside on your device, which makes it a good option if you’re wary of uploading your data to the cloud. It has fewer features (no security alerts or audits, for instance), but it’s free and its encryption is strong.
keepass.info

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