InchBlog

Never put off the work till tomorrow what you can put off today.

Just get a password manager already — 04/19/2018

Just get a password manager already

We’re just gonna say it: Creating strong, complex passwords — and then actually remembering what those passwords are — has become a huge pain in the behind. The well-known advice is that you shouldn’t use the same password for everything because it’s not safe, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying as you’re mentally shifting through every password and password variation you’ve ever created as you try to log into a bank account or online shop.

This warning is definitely true though: According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, 81% of hacking related breaches involved the misuse of stolen or weak credentials — AKA crappy, overused passwords. And we probably don’t have to tell you this, but having your money or identity stolen isn’t exactly a good time.

And even if you do manage to come up with Olympic-level strength passwords, remembering your complex, unique passwords for dozens of different sites is nearly impossible, especially when password requirements sound more like the recipe for a potion. Uppercase letter, number, symbol, eye of newt, etc.

But that’s exactly where password managers come in. Because without one, logging in usually goes something like this: You enter 10 different passwords and they’re all wrong, you try to change your password to a new one that you know, and just like that, “new password cannot be the same as old password.”

What does a password manager really do?

Thankfully, with a decent password manager in place, all you have to do is remember one master password and they’ll autofill the rest for you, plus more security stuff you probably didn’t even think about. Think of it like keeping a list of passwords in your phone’s notes, except losing your phone won’t mean that your entire life is about to be hacked.

A decent password manager will also allow you to secure your devices — like your Kindle or Apple Watch — and even your photos and other private documents that you won’t want easily accessible on your computer or smartphone. Think of it as a form of personal encryption to add even more security to your digital life.

Things to consider when choosing a password manager:

  • Do you want passwords to be remembered on your phone and laptop? If so, you’ll need to make sure the password manager allows syncing on multiple devices. (As you’ll see, most free versions other than LastPass do not allow more than one device.) 

  • Are you storing passwords just for personal use or do you need to share with a group?

  • Two-factor authentication: Using the Google Authenticator app, an external device, or something similar, does the password manager require a second form of insurance to make sure that it’s actually you trying to log in? Without this, if someone gets ahold of your master password, they have access to all of your stuff.

  • Emergency contacts: If you forget your master password, you need to make sure you’re not completely screwed. Many password managers are equipped with emergency contacts, which are basically the password version of writing someone into your will. Here is where you give a trusted friend, family member, or boss access to your master password in the event that you can’t provide it.

What are some of the best password managers on the market?

Interested in employing a password manager to help make your online life a little easier? We’ve sifted through a whole bunch of password manager programs out there so you don’t have to. Below, we’re listing six of the best password managers and exactly what each plan offers, so you can easily find the one that best fits your individual needs. All prices listed are for the year.

Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f1625084%252f06d5915b 31e7 43f2 84d2 116e88daf9bf.jpg%252f480x0.jpg?signature=t0unalnt8yulsrfvqzkc8okbcqk=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws

Image: Dashlane

The Good

Works on many different devices • Includes emergency contact options • Very simple to use

The Bad

Rather expensive compared to other managers

The Bottom Line

Although Dashlane is a bit pricey, for this many features and the extreme simplicity and industry trust, we’d say it’s worth it.

Dashlane

Looking for a trusted password manager to take the stress out of online security? This well-known manager makes it easier than ever to ensure (and remember) strong passwords.

  • Includes two-factor authentication:
    Yes
  • Fills web forms:
    Yes
  • Works with:
    Windows, MacOS
With one of the slickest looking and most user-friendly interfaces (including 11 language options), Dashlane Premium makes managing passwords on multiple devices a piece of cake. Dashlane gives you the option to import passwords from any site, and also allows you to import passwords from other password managers. After importing passwords from all of your sites, you can separate them into categories (like banks and shopping, social media, etc.), and Dashlane will let you know if it thinks any are too weak.

Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f1625099%252f0b76dde0 40bd 427b bc87 6b104fcf2933.jpg%252f480x0.jpg?signature=bebjsdxt6slqxqpoikvbpsajykk=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws

Image: Sticky password

The Good

Decent price • Very strong security measures • Donates a portion of the fee to wildlife protection

The Bad

User interface could be better

The Bottom Line

Sticky Password is cheaper than most leading managers, can be installed on MacOS, iOS, Windows, and Android devices, and automatically syncs all devices together when the master password is entered.

Sticky Password

Strong security measures, philanthropic values, and an unbeatable price point? Sticky Password ticks all the right boxes when it comes to choosing a password manager.

  • Includes two-factor authentication:
    Yes
  • Fills web forms:
    Yes
  • Works with:
    Windows, MacOS
Sticky Password is a great option for anyone looking to secure their online life without spending too much on a monthly membership fee. The password manager stores an encrypted copy of your data in the cloud, and the only way you can get to it is with your online password and master password. And, for extra extra security, you can also opt for secure no-cloud sync. Note that for each subscription, Sticky Password donates a portion of the money to a manatee protection fund. If you didn’t think it was a great choice before, we bet you do now.

Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f1625102%252f22c6f0cb cbf5 4d64 94d1 67b6a37cb4eb.png%252f480x0.png?signature=2ijhpsd36ci43rxhyxnehuk fug=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws

Image: Keeper Security

The Good

Decent price for the features • Covers tons of devices • Very secure and easy to use

The Bad

Web form filling could be better

The Bottom Line

If you’re hoping to protect more than just your online passwords you’d be hard-pressed to find a better, more all-encompassing digital security platform.

Keeper Security & Digital Vault

This password manager sports a polished look with the color scheme of your choice, and is an excellent, all-encompassing option.

  • Includes two-factor authentication:
    Yes
  • Fills web forms:
    Yes
  • Works with:
    Windows, MacOS, Linux
Keeper is not only a place to store passwords, but also a place to store your private documents, photos, and other files—it’s like the hardcore version of putting a passcode on your phone so no one can see all of the weird pictures you’ve saved. Keeper also has a broad selection of native apps for macOS, iOS, Windows, Windows Phone, Android, Kindle, and Linux, as well as browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Internet Explorer—so there’s never a device left out.

Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f1625130%252f7efeba3b 2557 4bc6 a128 994b4bfa2e86.png%252f480x0.png?signature=xftefozdwihy7evaiavsry1rsau=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws

Image: Password boss

The Good

Government-level encryption • Incredibly easy to use • Decent price

The Bad

Doesn’t have online access to stored passwords

The Bottom Line

If you tend to look for a user-friendly interface above all else, you’ll love the ease of use and visually appealing look of Password Boss (and the government-level encryption doesn’t hurt, either).

Password Boss

Straightforward interface, comprehensive cybersecurity measures, and a multitude of device capabilities keeps your digital life secure.

  • Includes two-factor authentication:
    Yes
  • Fills web forms:
    Yes
  • Works with:
    Windows, MacOS
Possibly the nicest interface to look at (other than Dashlane), Password Boss does basically everything you’d want a good password manager to do. Password Boss Premium can sync across all devices, storing your data in the cloud using government level encryption (according to the website). What’s more, when you go on a secure site that you haven’t been on yet, Password Boss will offer to save the login info, and then will automatically log you in every time you go on that site.

Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f1625191%252f80258acd 1ca2 4131 acd5 d48d1b1a284d.png%252f480x0.png?signature=hqoke8h8e5wdmdcjnkbwikgc6mg=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws

Image: Lastpass

The Good

Great user interface • Very good free version

The Bad

Certain personal data types can’t be used during form-filling

The Bottom Line

Looking for a decent password manager without committing to paying a monthly fee? LastPass offers an incredibly comprehensive free option that will ensure your details and data stay safe.

LastPass Password Manager

While investing in a password manager can be a pricey affair, you don’t have to spend to get high level security, as proven by the LastPass free version.

  • Includes two-factor authentication:
    Yes
  • Fills web forms:
    Yes
  • Works with:
    Windows, MacOS
This ultra user-friendly app has a few different plans offering various sharing features, so you’re sure to find something that closely fits your password needs. The LastPass app can be installed on MacOS, iOS, Windows, and Android and can run its plug-in on Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera. Pro tip: LastPass’ free version is seriously impressive. Ideal for a single person’s personal use, it offers a ton more than the other free password managers out there, including syncing across multiple devices (a true rarity for a free version), two-factor authentication, single sign-on, and emergency access. For those who want to upgrade, a paid account will run you $36 per year.

Uploads%252fcard%252fimage%252f1625201%252fe2b73b4d 3853 47af 9e59 eeb22e764ce2.png%252f480x0.png?signature=wkm oi1d3cqfa2ckxhrnyiblpa4=&source=https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws

Image: zoho vault

The Good

Very good price • Easy to use • Includes a comprehensive password strength report

The Bad

Doesn’t work with two-factor authentication • Doesn’t import passwords from browsers

The Bottom Line

You might not want or need all the bells and whistles that come with other password managers, and if that’s the case, Zoho Vault is a top tier option for keeping you secure without digging too deep into your pocket.

Zoho Vault

Shopping for password security that you can set and forget? Zoho Vault is going to be your best no-frills option that will still keep you safe and secure without the extra add-ons.

  • Includes two-factor authentication:
    No
  • Fills web forms:
    No
  • Works with:
    Windows, MacOS
If you’re looking for a straightforward, nothing fancy password manager that still, you know, works, Zoho is an awesome choice. Have as many passwords as you want, access them from any device with the Zoho extension, enable two factor authentication, and share with your team freely—all for only a couple cents each month. While Zoho’s vault does allow storing of private data like bank accounts or health care info, it won’t auto fill these for you in web pages. Sites with two-page logins like Gmail or Yahoo also give Zoho a little trouble, so keep that in mind if you use those email services.