Why You Need an Online Password Manager

In the digital business world of today, data security is a constant source of worry for many companies. A recent report by cloud security company PandaLabs found that malware is being created at record levels.  The report found that in just the second quarter of 2014,  fifteen million new strains of malware were created and the global infection rate during the period was 36.87%, a significant rise from previous quarters.

While cloud hosting providers are working hard to enhance security features, it still falls on you as the owner of your data to monitor and protect your interests. Steps like data encryption can help, but a password manager can make your online life more secure and as an added bonus, easier to manage.

Password Manager Programs

Most password manager programs function as a browser plugin. Its function is to handle password capture and replay from within the browser framework. When you log onto a secure site the program asks if you’d like to save your login information. When returning to that site, you have the option of recalling your information for automatic login. If you login to the site under different user names and have saved multiple passwords, your information is saved as a menu on your browser.  Most managers also offer a browser toolbar that will take you directly to the site and make login even more efficient.

Some products will detect password changes and offer to update your existing record. Some will even record all of your information when signing up for a new secure site. If a program doesn’t offer password capture and replay automation, it needs to offer other significant assets before you should consider installing it or purchasing an upgrade.

Creating a new secure account or updating a weak password becomes easier when you have a manager to remember your information. In fact, all of the top-rated programs include a built in random password generator to increase your online security. Check your default settings. Some products default to a length shorter than the more secure, and recommended 12 characters.

Entering a randomly generated password on your smartphone can be a bit tough. Fortunately all of the top password managers can sync across platforms and operating systems including Windows, Mac, Android and IOS. The latest Android and IOS technology includes fingerprint recognition as well as a master password. Most offer some form of a two-factor identification option including biometric, SMS-based or something else entirely.

Advantages of Password Management

Instead of manually entering your login information each time you visit a secure site, a password manager stores all of your passwords encrypted and in one place. Your password manager is then protected with a master password. This keeps you from the dangerous practice of using the same password across accounts. With a password manager, you can have strong individual encrypted passwords protected by a single easy to remember master password.

The program you use is less important than actually using it. Most offer similar functions and free limited services. Paid plans expand your options and are usually subscription based or offered as a paid app upgrade. These allow you to store and unlimited number of passwords and will sync them across all of your devices.

If you’re interested in checking out password manager software the top programs include:

• Dashlane

• LastPass

• KeePass

• RoboForm

• 1Password

Security is paramount in an increasingly connected digital world. Using a password manager is a great way to ensure your safety online.