How to Keep Track of All Your Passwords

We run through the password managers on the market for you.

password manager

Manager available to fit your paranoia

There's a password manager out there for you regardless of your level of paranoia. Plus, the leading options are getting pretty business-friendly, so if your company doesn't have a password management solution in place already, or is too small for one, then one of these password managers could do the job.



The best password manager on the market right now because of its ability to change most of your passwords with a single click, its support for two-factor authentication, and its business-friendly team functionality, which allows password sharing with team members.

Dashlane costs $40 per year per user, but there's also a free version which works on one device.



Blur's unique feature is that it doesn't just generate a long, completely random password -- it will also generate disposable email addresses for you that mask your real address.

Like the other commercial password managers, the basic version is free and the company makes money selling a premium version. With Blur, the $40 premium version also generates one-time credit card numbers with built-in spending limits to protect users against hidden charges or data breaches, and masked phone numbers for even more privacy.



Another password management system that allows credential sharing is 1Password.

One user is Steve Hultquist, chief evangelist at Sunnyvale, Calif.,-based RedSeal, Inc.

"I strongly recommend password generation applications that provide a secure vault for all your passwords," he said. "They allow you to automatically generate completely random strings of characters and to use unique passwords for every site, while the application allows you to automatically fill in those passwords when you visit the sites on your computer, mobile device, and apps."



Many of our readers, however, will probably prefer KeePass for individual use.

"I prefer KeePass because it's free, open source, integrated with Windows User Account Control, and it is not a browser plug-in," said Jason Fossen, an instructor at SANS Institute. "It's not ideal for security to take many of your most important secrets -- your passwords and credit card numbers -- and incorporate them into the one application most likely to become infected with malware -- the browser."

KeePass is a separate utility, not a browser plug-in, he said.



LastPass used to be my top recommendation, and is the system I currently use.

The company has an enterprise version, with Active Directory sync, configurable management policies, onboarding, offboarding and provisioning, and single sign-on for many popular cloud applications, including Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce, Wordpress, and others.

LastPass throws in free credit monitoring, will generate one-time passwords for use at untrusted computers or networks, and will change your passwords for you.

Prices range from $24 per user per year down to $18 with a volume discount.



Recently acquired by Intel, the PasswordBox premium version is temporarily free for all customers.

Plus, the service plans to roll out something they call "True Key" functionality later on this year, which will replace the master password with biometrics such as facial recognition.

Most password managers rely on a master password -- a single password which unlocks access to the entire vault. The idea is that it's easier to remember one password, and make it a super-long, super-secure passphrase, than to try to memorize dozens, or hundreds, of individual passwords.



StickyPassword's unique feature is that you can avoid the cloud, yet still sync across all your devices, by using your local Wi-Fi network to keep everything up to date.

It also works from a portable USB device, supports biometrics, fills in forms, and works on all major platforms, browsers, and devices.

The premium version is the one that supports Wi-Fi sync, is just $20 a year, making this one of the less expensive commercial products on this list.



The oldest of all the password managers on this list, RoboForm was first released at the end of 1999.

One unique feature is that it allows users to log into several sites at once -- useful for people who log into the same set of services every day. It also has a portable version, called RoboForm2Go, that you can install on a USB key.

Like other password managers, it supports all major browsers and devices and offers a choice of cloud storage for syncing across all devices, or desktop mode for storing all data locally on a single computer. But, again, you give up the convenience of being able to access your password on mobile devices and other computers.

(See the story version of this slideshow.)

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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