The internet has revolutionized a lot of the way people conduct their daily lives. People go online to socialize, research, express themselves, shop, bank and run businesses. Unfortunately, taking advantage of the convenience the internet offers, can come at a huge cost.
Websites that require personal information, such as social security numbers or financial information, allow us to protect our identity and livelihood with a password. The problem is that these passwords add up, and it can be almost impossible to safely keep track of them.
Safely managing accounts online is a tricky business, and yet, most people try to handle it on their own. Passwords should never be something easy to remember, because that means it is likely easy to guess. The problem with that is most people want to write down important information that they can't memorize.
Passwords should never be written down or saved on your computer, because it leaves the information too vulnerable. Some people choose to use the same password for every site. This is also highly discouraged, because once someone has access to your password, all of your information is vulnerable.
There is good news. Some brilliant developers have already provided several solutions, called password managers. Password managers are web and/or mobile applications, which protect and improve your web browsing experience. Typically, once an account is activated, the password manager creates a unique password, made of random numbers, letters and symbols, for all of your online accounts.
With a password manager, you only have to remember one password to log you in to the password manager. Once logged in, the manager application automatically signs you in to websites, so you no longer have to deal with sign-in forms.
Lastpass is a free password manager application. Lastpass is easy to download and helps people safely manage accounts and navigate the internet from any computer or mobile device. As the name suggests, a huge draw to Lastpass is that it is the last password users will ever have to remember. Forgetting a password can be incredibly frustrating, difficult and time-consuming to recover.
This app also synchronizes across all operating systems and browsers, so you can use it anywhere. Other features include importing, exporting and backup of existing passwords, and sharing login information with friends over the Lastpass secure servers, instead of email. Lastpass also offers a mobile application for customers willing to dish out $1 per month.
Another great, free password manager is KeePass, which also happens to be an OSI certified open source application. With KeePass, users store their existing passwords in one database, which securely stores the information, allowing users to free their mental space for other tasks and information. Like Lastpass, this password manager works in the background of the browser and automatically logs users in with the passwords stored in its database.
With so many free, easy to use options for password management, there is no reason not to protect your passwords. Not only do the password managers save users time on login pages, but also could save them unimaginable headaches and financial stress in the event of identity theft.