I give up. I am drowning in an ocean of passwords and it’s time to save myself.
It’s time for me to decide on a password manager program and burn my pages upon pages of passwords.
A password manager is an app for your computer and mobile devices that securely stores your passwords so you don’t have to remember them. Actually, it’s a misnomer to call it a password manager. It’s also a username manager. Not because it can change or create more secure usernames, but because it remembers them also.
The best password managers also generate long and strong passwords for you, will alert you if a website has been hacked and automatically change a hacked password. In addition, password managers can auto-fill address and payments forms, keep your passwords synchronized among all of your devices and allow you to securely share a password with a co-worker or family member.
Password managers have been around for years, but I have been primarily skeptical about storing my financial logins “out there somewhere.” So, I devised a system for creating mostly unique passwords that contained a variety of characters and no words. And that system still works really well for me, but the reality is that a) the increased sophistication of cyber attacks requires ever longer passwords, and b) I’m tired of creating, entering and remembering longer passwords.
It’s time to choose from among the best and most secure password managers. In a recent article by lifehacker.com, the most popular password managers are LastPass (lastpass.com), 1Password (1password.com) and Dashlane (dashlane.com). All of them securely store passwords, sync between my devices, generate strong, unique passwords and auto-fill online forms.
Originally, I was going to test each of these three services and share my opinions with you. But that has already been done so many times by very reputable websites that I don’t need to reinvent that wheel.
Instead, I’m going to tell you why I’m just going to go with LastPass. Price.
The capabilities of LastPass, 1Password and Dashlane are essentially the same. Some have easier to understand apps, but none are difficult to use. 1Password is a one-time purchase of $50. Dashlane is free to use on one device and then $40/year to use and sync on multiple devices. LastPass is free to use on a computer and $12/year to use and sync with your mobile devices.
So, why not go with 1Password which ends up costing less than LastPass beginning in the 5th year at $12/year? Because technology is going to change from typed passwords to something more unique. Whether it’s a fingerprint, retina scan or hardware token. Cyber security is a big industry and I expect to see something better than passwords sooner rather than later.
*** Update – last week LastPass reported that it suspected a security breach and asked all users to change their LastPass master password. Nothing is 100% secure, and I still have confidence in LastPass and I really need a password manager. Therefore, I still recommend and use LastPass.