When we read about emails and social media accounts being ‘hacked’, many of us imagine a cyber villain using advanced techniques or deploying code to force access to our accounts.
In reality, most breaches occur using far simpler techniques called ‘phishing’ and usually, it’s partly the fault of the user.
Phishing tricks users into revealing their login information through legitimate looking websites and emails, and relies on the fact that most people use the same email and password combination for multiple sites.
According to cyber security researchers from Kaspersky Labs, the second quarter of 2019 saw 130 million phishing attacks – and this number is rising every year.
The trouble is, most users have multiple accounts for separate services, and remembering unique and robust passwords for all of them is impossible. Luckily, there’s a solution.
Password managers secure and encrypt all of your passwords in one place, which means you can use unique passwords without having to remember them all. Here, we’re going to review some of the leading password managers on the market today.
1Password is a highly trusted password manager based in Ontario, Canada. Established by AgileBits in 2006, 1Password protects users’ passwords with PBKDF2 and AES-256 bit encryption, with a centralized vault that they control.
1Password’s long and incident-free history has made it one of the most trusted password managers in the world, used by over 15 million customers. It’s also got extra features such as 2FA, a digital wallet for saving users’ payment information, and the 1Password Watchtower, which informs users if their details have been exposed in a breach.
The service has a useful browser extension for Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, and Opera browsers, which autofills passwords without users having to remember them. Instead, users simply remember a single password to their 1Password vault to unlock all their accounts.
1Password is very reasonably priced, at just $2.99 per month when billed annually, or $4.99 per month for its ‘family’ plan, which covers up to five people.
Trusted by over 17 million customers worldwide, LastPass is a long-serving password manager from the USA, which is owned and operated by cyber security company LogMeIn Inc.
LastPass helps users create strong passwords, aggregates login details, and protects all user passwords in their vault, which is secured by AES-256 and SHA-256 bit encryption.
Like some of the others on this list, LastPass allows you to sync usernames and passwords across all your devices, meaning that you’ll get autofill data on your phone, desktop, tablet, or even smart watch through the LastPass app. There are extensions available for all major browsers, and it’s easy to login across multiple devices using LastPass.
There is a free version of LastPass, but LastPass Premium costs just $3 per month, billed at $43.20 per year after tax. Alternatively, LastPass offers a family plan which gives up to 6 licences for $48.00 annually.
We recommend paying a little extra per month for premium, as you can get up to 1 GB of encrypted file storage, advanced multi-factor options, and priority tech support, as well as all the features offered in the free version.
Built by veteran cyber security company McAfee, TrueKey is a comprehensive password manager that uses AES-256 encryption to protect users login credentials. With multi-factor authentication, digital wallets, and cross device synchronization, TrueKey is packed-full of market leading features.
TrueKey supports Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and browsers including Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. The free version of TrueKey lets users store up to 15 passwords and comes with all the full features.
However, if you’re a power user who needs more space, you could upgrade to TrueKey premium, which is one of the cheapest paid password managers at just $19.99 per year, and allows unlimited passwords to be stored.
Established in 2012, Dashlane is a password manager from the USA which protects passwords and login information with AES-256 encryption. Using a single password, users can access multiple accounts, secured using two-factor authentication.
DashLane is available for Windows devices, MacOS, iOS, and Android, so it’s currently a little limited compared to some of the other password managers we’ve reviewed here.
Although Dashlane is a freemium product, there’s a paid premium version which offers unlimited passwords and devices, while also monitoring leaked account data on the dark web for its users, and providing a basic VPN service.
Users of the free version of Dashlane can only store 50 passwords on one device. As a result, we recommend using the premium version of Dashlane at $3.33 per month, which provides far more features than the free version for a tiny price.
No matter who you are and what you do on the web, you should consider using a password manager.
Not only does it take the stress out of remembering multiple passwords, and makes it easier to login across devices, but it also offers a greater level of protection and encryption for all your passwords.
All the password manager services we’ve reviewed here are great choices for boosting the security of your login information online.