Keeping track of all your online passwords can be a tricky thing… “Is there a capital letter at the beginning, a number at the end? I can’t remember!” It becomes an even harder task if you’re web security conscious and have appropriately unique passwords for each and every site/profile that requires one. To keep track, perhaps you keep a written list in your wallet or have passwords scrawled on bits of paper in the drawer at home. Maybe you haven’t even taken up the task of creating unique passwords for all of your online profiles, because you’re not sure of how you’d memorize all those unique passwords and security question answers that feature pet names, favourite authors and favourite sports. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that there are actually a number of options available for saving your passwords in one convenient and secure place…
Your Web Browser
Web browsers such as Google Chrome and Internet Explorer among others, are capable of storing your passwords for you. If you’re using one of the browsers that supports the function, it will offer to store your password after you’ve entered it on a given site. Your password will be stored in an encrypted database or in locally stored registry entries on your computer.
Desktop Password Manager
Desktop password managers such as KeePass and 1Password among others, store your passwords in an encrypted database that exists only on your computer. In other words, your passwords aren’t stored online. You are given a highly unique master password that provides you with access to the database. Of course, this means that the database is only available on your computer (you can’t access it from outside of your computer’s network.) Most password managers typically provide a number of other tools such as password generation and note keeping (make a note of those pesky security question answers) as well.
Online Password Manager
Much like the desktop password managers, online password managers such as LastPass store your passwords in an encrypted database. The key difference being that rather than being stored on your computer, the database is stored online. This means that you can access the database from anywhere that has Internet access. Again, you are given a highly unique master password that provides you with access to the database. You are the only person with this password meaning a) don’t lose it and b) you’d be protected even if the LastPass (or similar manager) servers were hacked. These password managers usually provide a number of other tools similar to those of the desktop password managers.
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