From creating encrypted passwords to auto-filling forms, password managers can help you keep track of your online log-ins and secret codes.
Whether it’s viruses like Cryptolocker, bugs like Heartbleed or eBay being hacked, it feels like there are an increasing number of bad guys after our information. One of the best ways to protect your data is by using strong passwords that are unique to each site you use.
We’ve posted guides to creating secure passwords before, but keeping track of multiple complicated passwords is a pain. An increasingly popular solution is to use a central password manager that stores all of your different passwords together. These can make it easier to login – they’ll auto-fill your info – or can be used to retrieve forgotten passwords.
There are password managers that work as apps, and save your data to your phone, tablet or computer, while others work as online services, with your data saved in an encrypted cloud. In both cases your data will usually be stored behind a single master password. Read on as we take a look at different options for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS.
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Password managers for PC, Android and iOS
iCloud Keychain (£free)
Apple’s free password manager works across iPhones, iPads and Macs. Keychain can store your usernames and passwords, credit card information, and Wi-Fi network information.
It will also keep Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Messages up to date across all of your Apple devices. As is often the case with Apple the main drawback is compatibility. Not only will you need to stick to Apple devices but it won’t work on Chrome, Firefox or any browser other than Safari.
Keeper (£free-£20.99 per year)
For those who like to mix and match their devices and operating systems, Keeper is a better bet. From Mac and iOS to Android and Windows this password manager should run on everything you own.
Keeper will not only manage your passwords, but also let you share personal data as required. Everything is stored on your device behind a master password, although it can be backed up in an encrypted cloud. If someone enters the wrong master password five times, the data stored by Keeper will self-destruct. The downside is that it’s not free. You’ll need to cough up £20.00 a year if you want to use Keeper on more than one device. There are a number of similar services that offer compatibility across multiple devices, like Roboform, LastPass & Dashlane.
Passpack (£11 approx.)
This online manager differs from Keeper in that it stores all of your passwords on a remote server, as opposed to on a local device. Passback claims that secure encryption ensures that your passwords are never at risk – even if Passpack’s servers are hacked.
Passpack supports all browsers and devices, can auto-fill forms once you’ve installed the toolbar and will help you generate secure passwords. In fact, it works much like the above apps for the most part. The only difference being you’ll have to get your head around the fact that all of your passwords are stored elsewhere rather than locally.
Password managers – what do you think?
Have you used a password manager at home or at work? If so we’d be interested to know which one you’re using and whether you’ve encountered any problems so far.