We store tons of private, precious information digitally, and yet, many of us are unknowingly reckless with our online security. In fact, a 2017 survey from the Pew Research Center determined that most Americans use either their memory or a handwritten list to keep track of their many passwords.
But that’s a recipe for digital disaster, and we’re seeing the consequences with each new security breach.
Though you’re likely already familiar with techniques for creating secure passwords—using long random combinations of letters and numbers that don’t include personal information—it’d be impossible to remember these super secure passwords on your own.
So, what’s the best way to store them? Using a password management app.
There are several available, but among the most popular and effective are 1Password, LastPass, and DashLane Premium. Each allows you to create and store unique passwords in a safely encrypted digital vault that you can access with a hyper-secure master password.
Instead of having to remember dozens of complicated passwords that look like you sat on the keyboard, you only have to remember one!
In most side-by-side brand comparisons, these platforms are recognized as the industry champions.
Though they each have their particular strengths—for example, LastPass can do bulk password changes, while 1Password works across more platforms—they all include randomized password generation, form filling, cross platform syncing, security alerts, and automatic password changes if a hack should occur.
Determining which of these apps is right for you may come down to the practicality of cost, or less tangible qualities like user-friendliness and interface. “There are some differences. But I would say, in terms of safety, it doesn’t really matter which you choose,” says digital services coordinator Ryan Biracree of Garrison, New York.
“But I would say, in terms of safety, it doesn’t really matter which you choose. It matters that you have good habits in having different passwords for everything. And that’s the best thing about password managers: They let you do just that without making it a hassle for you at all.”
Though the future is sure to usher in more widespread biometric safety measures, like fingerprint and facial recognition, for now, good old-fashioned passwords are the most common online security measure we have.
Before the next major breach, which is eternally around the corner, make sure yours are ready to put up a fight and stored via a password management app.