Three programs that protect your passwords
Password managers are programs that store and encrypt your passwords. With a password manager, you have to remember only one password to log in to all of the websites you use.
Here are three of the most reliable, user-friendly options:
LastPass is a cloud-based password manager that syncs with your browser and imports saved passwords. Or simply navigate to the websites you use, and LastPass will prompt you to manually enter and save your logins. LastPass offers multifactor authentication, which adds a second login step for additional security.
The Cost: The free version allows you to sync your account to multiple computers. LastPass Premium costs $12 a year and adds mobile and tablet access.
Like LastPass, Dashlane imports passwords from your browser and saves them in a secure “password vault.” Dashlane can rate the strength of your existing passwords and automatically generate stronger ones. Dashlane gives you a choice between storing data locally or in the cloud.
The Cost: The free version covers use on one device, while the premium version is $19.99 and syncs across all devices.
Roboform mimics a browser bookmark: You select your desired website from a dropdown list, and Roboform fills in your login information. It also saves form data, such as name, address, and online payment information. Like Dashlane, Roboform allows you to choose between local or cloud storage.
The Cost: Roboform Everywhere, which offers one license across multiple devices, costs $9.95 for the first year and $19.95 each year after that. Roboform Desktop, which offers local storage on one computer, costs a one-time $29.95. Finally, Roboform2Go costs a one-time $39.95 and allows you to store passwords on a USB drive and use with any computer.
Whichever password manager you choose, make sure your master password is as strong as possible. Your trusty password manager will take care of the rest.
This list does not indicate an endorsement for these programs and services.