If you don’t have a secure password manager in 2020, you’re asking for trouble.
When it comes to hackers and identity theft, your biggest weakness is a set of terrible passwords. Passwords like “Password1234,” your mother’s maiden name, or your pet’s name are asking to be hacked.
It gets worse…
Like most people, you probably have tons of online accounts. You can’t possibly remember and manage individual passwords for all of them, so what do you do? Yep – you reuse the same weak passwords for multiple accounts.
Again, this is asking for trouble.
If one of your accounts gets hacked, it’s likely many of your other accounts that share the same password will, too. This makes it all too easy for a hacker to get hold of your online accounts, and your personal and financial information.
The solution is to use a secure password manager. But let’s be honest, that feels confusing to even think about, let alone set up…
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
This article will run through everything you need to know to get started with an online password manager – including password manager reviews.
Don’t be a sitting duck, sign up for a secure password manager today.
- What Is a Password Manager?
- What Is The Best Password Manager in 2020?
- 3 More Top Password Managers in 2020
- 4 Essential Password Manager Best Practices
- Want to Learn More?
What Is a Password Manager?
An online password manager is a piece of software that stores every single password that you use online – from your email account to all of your favorite mobile apps. All of your passwords are encrypted and kept in a “vault” that is protected by a “master password.”
This means that secure password managers allow you to create different passwords for each of your online accounts that are strong and secure.
You also don’t have to remember tons of passwords (or keep resetting account passwords when you forget them).
All you have to do is create and remember one very hard-to-crack, master password.
How Do Password Managers Work?
Online password managers are designed to make security easy.
The best password managers allow you to import your passwords from other sources, such as your computer’s browser. This is an essential feature if you have tons of account passwords – you really don’t want to have to input them all manually.
Most online password managers also come with a browser extension (or plugin), which has two main jobs. First, it will save new passwords when you create new accounts. Secondly, it will autofill login and form details on the sites and apps you use.
If you have multiple login details for the same site (or let other people use your device to check messages, etc.), the online password manager will offer you multiple login options.
The best password managers also help you to do things like:
- Autogenerate strong and secure passwords for your accounts that are difficult to hack
- Sync your unique and strong passwords across all of your devices
- Store and encrypt your personal data and online payment details
- Autofill login details and forms in apps on your mobile devices
- Run a security audit to expose weak and duplicate passwords
- Provide a step-by-step program to improve these passwords
- Auto-change weak passwords into strong ones for select services
- Enable two-factor authentication through their own app, an app like Google Authenticator, SMS-messages, etc.
- Set up authentication using your fingerprint or face on compatible devices
In short, a secure password manager can change your life.
Not only will it make managing your online accounts far easier, but you can also relax knowing that you’re far less likely to be the victim of hacking or a cyber-attack.
Plus, if one of your accounts does get hacked, a secure password manager will contain the damage and stop it from spreading.
Are Password Managers Safe?
Does it really make sense to put all of your eggs into one basket?
What if a hacker got hold of your master password? Or what if hackers managed to breach the central vault of the password management company? It would be Armageddon.
So it’s worth asking: Are password managers safe? Really?
Well, yes – and no.
First, it goes without saying that the best password managers take security very seriously. It’s why many recommend that you enable two-factor authentication and encrypt everything Matrix-style.
In most cases, their security systems are strong enough.
Still, even the best password managers can be hacked successfully.
An article by The Washington Post highlighted bugs found in five of the best password managers. Yet, the article was titled, “Password managers have a security flaw. But you should still use one.”
Yes, there’s a risk in storing all of your passwords in one password manager. However, you need to think of cybersecurity like this: There is no such thing as “safe and secure.”
There are just relative levels of safety – “safer and more secure than…”
Unless you want to delete all of your accounts and relocate to an undisclosed, off-grid location in the Amazon rainforest, you’re always going to incur some risk.
So the question isn’t, “Are password managers safe?” but, “Are password managers the safest solution available to me?”
And the answer to that question is a resounding, “Yes.”
The best password management companies don’t store users’ master passwords used to unlock the encryption. So, even if their servers were successfully hacked, the data would be gibberish.
The hackers would still need to get their hands on your unique master password. Which is why you need to create an unbreakable master password when signing up a password manager…
What Is The Best Password Manager in 2020?
With so many great password managers to choose from, which one is best suited for your needs?
Here are five password manager reviews, along with our recommendations:
The Best Password Manager in 2020: Dashlane
Available on Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android
Dashlane is one of the best password managers available. It’s intuitive, simple, and boasts plenty of advanced features.
For starters, it allows you to import your passwords into your account from various other places. And it has a tool that will change many account passwords for you automatically.
You also get two-factor authentication, which is essential for security.
Unlike some other online password managers, Dashlane also allows you to share encrypted passwords with your emergency contacts – just in case.
Additionally, this secure online password manager provides the option of storing your passwords locally within an encrypted vault.
It also has mobile apps for iOS and Android and syncs your passwords across devices. Plus, it comes with browser extensions.
Dashlane’s free plan allows you to use the service on one device and store up to 50 passwords – which, let’s face it, is pretty useless.
Just based on the fact that you’re reading this article, I’d bet you easily have at least two devices and north of 100 passwords (you’ll be surprised how many you’ve collected over the years).
That said, Dashlane’s Premium plan is incredible.
For $3.33 per month (billed annually) you can store unlimited passwords and sync them across all of your devices. There are also advanced features such as dark web monitoring and a built-in VPN.
The Best Free Password Manager in 2020: LastPass
Available on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux
LastPass is one of the best free password managers online, and it’s incredibly easy to use.
The best part? Its Free plan is awesome. It allows you to store unlimited passwords and use the service across all of your devices.
LastPass will help you create a highly secure master password and import all of your passwords and saved form details.
Download the mobile app and browser extensions to effortlessly sync your passwords across devices.
It also provides two-factor authentication, credit monitoring, and an autofill feature to make online shopping a breeze.
LastPass stores your encrypted data on its cloud servers. This means that you can use the service on devices that aren’t your own – all you need is your master password.
It also provides a secure password generator and will automatically change passwords for many large services with just a few clicks.
You can upgrade to LastPass’ Premium plan for $3 per month (billed annually) to unlock additional features.
These include the ability to share your passwords with trusted emergency contacts, advanced multi-factor authentication, priority tech support, and the ability to use the service with mobile applications.
3 More Top Password Managers in 2020
Although Dashlane and LastPass are definitely two of the best password managers online, they’re far from your only options.
Here are three more of the top password managers to choose from.
Available on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux
1Password is another extremely popular and secure password manager.
To start, it features an intuitive interface, strong password generator, two-factor authentication, and secure password sharing.
The service will also notify you of website breaches that may have affected your data.
1Password is so confident in its security, the service offered $100,000 in prize money for anyone who could hack one of its accounts.
You can sync your encrypted data locally on your devices or sync it with cloud services like iCloud or Dropbox.
There’s even a “Travel Mode” that enables you to secretly remove all sensitive data from your devices, allowing you to avoid scary border security from pulling you aside and viewing all of your data when you’re traveling.
Unfortunately, there’s no free version; however, 1Password does provide a 30-day free trial.
The Personal Plan is $2.99 per month, and the Family Plan is $4.99 per month, while Teams and Business accounts start from $3.99 per month. All plans are billed annually.
Available on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux
Keeper is another one of the best password managers online.
It has all of the basic features you’d expect, such as password import options, two-factor authentication, automatic form-filling, secure sharing, and mobile application passwords.
You can also add emergency contacts who can access your encrypted data in a pinch.
This online password manager has tons of different plans depending on your needs, including Personal, Student, Family, Business, and Enterprise. This makes it one of the best password managers available in terms of scalability.
It will also keep your account history, so you can restore previous versions of your records in case something goes wrong.
The Free Personal plan allows unlimited passwords, devices, and syncing. Family plans start at $5 per month, and business plans start at $2.50 per month – all of which are billed annually.
Available on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux
LogMeOnce is a popular online password manager with everything you might need.
It has all the basics covered, such as multi-factor authentication, automatic form-filling, secure password sharing, and password strength reporting and analysis.
While its interface is dated and not as slick as some of the other online password managers available, LogMeOnce stands out because of its huge range of features.
These include scheduled login, facial recognition, account freeze, and “Password shock,” which is designed to fight back against hackers by making the process unpleasant for them. The idea is that, hopefully, they’ll just give up and move on.
Still, its huge range of features can be overwhelming, and many aren’t necessary if you’re just looking for something simple and secure.
That said, if you’re looking to geek-out about your online security, LogMeOnce might be the choice for you.
As such, this online password manager might be more suited to businesses and teams. The Business Plan is $2 per month, and the Enterprise Plan is $4 per month.
4 Essential Password Manager Best Practices
Before you leave, it’s well worth taking a moment to understand four essential best practices.
There’s no point in building a castle if you invite a trojan horse in…
Here are four top password management tips to help you keep your data safe.
1. Don’t Ever Include Personal Information in Your Passwords
Passwords should never, ever contain personal information.
This means your birthday, pet’s name, partner’s name, favorite hobby, and phone number are all out of the question.
Because of the amount of information we put online these days, these types of passwords are easy to hack.
Whatever you do, don’t make this mistake.
2. Don’t Use Obvious Combinations
Avoid all obvious combinations of words, letters, or numbers.
3. Recognize That Password Security Is an Ongoing Process
Cybersecurity is like an arms race.
Hackers are always hacking and security companies are always trying to stay one step ahead – and you must play your part.
When it comes to keeping your data safe, you can’t just “set it and forget it.” You must regularly check your security situation and update it so that it stays … well, secure.
There are two main ways to do this:
First, you should periodically check to see if any of your email addresses have been compromised in a data breach. You can do this with a tool like “‘;–have i been pwned?”
This great tool will tell you which data breaches your email address has been pawned in so that you can make sure to go and change the passwords for those accounts.
For instance, my previous email address had been pawned on 10 websites…
Secondly, the best password managers have a built-in tool that evaluates how secure your accounts and information is online – such as LastPass’ Security Challenge.
These tools will tell you exactly what you need to do to increase your security.
4. Guard Your Data, and Be Careful of Scams Like Phishing
There are countless scams out there designed to fool you into revealing sensitive information like usernames, passwords, or credit card details.
“Phishing” is when hackers will disguise themselves or their websites to appear like trustworthy brands in an effort to dupe you into giving them your information.
As a result, you need to guard your data:
- Don’t share your online password manager master password anywhere or with anyone
- Don’t click on suspicious email links
- Install an anti-phishing browser Extension like NetCraft or Zelda
- Never give out your personal information online or over the phone (unless you called them)
In 2020, password managers are essential.
They enable you to conveniently store all of your passwords in one secure, encrypted account. This allows you to create unique, strong passwords for each of your online accounts.
Plus, the best password managers sync across all of your devices to make life even easier.
It’s true that password managers aren’t ever going to be 100 percent secure – cybersecurity is a constant arms race after all.
However, using one of the best password managers will be infinitely more secure than reusing the same basic passwords for all of your accounts.
Here’s a roundup of our five top password manager recommendations:
- Dashlane – The best password manager if you’re happy to pay
- LastPass – The best free password manager with plenty of options to upgrade
- 1Password – Obsessed with security and comes with Travel Mode
- Keeper – Many different plans, making it great for flexibility and scaling
- LogMeOnce – A huge range of features for the more tech-savvy
Finally, make sure to never use personal information or obvious combinations in your passwords. Guard your data carefully, and continue to check and improve your online security regularly.