Industry data suggest that we lose more than 10,300 hours a year retrieving lost passwords, making new ones or talking to call centre representatives about those. And it gets much worse if a password is stolen and misused. Last week, Russian hackers published millions of passwords they collected after hacking the professional networking site LinkedIn.
This was followed by dating site eHarmony announcing that a “small fraction” of its users — approximately 1.5 mn users — were compromised by a similar attack. Despite security warnings to select unique passwords across various sites, most people complain how hard it is to remember multiple passwords, and hence use the same password across websites, bank accounts, etc. But there are free online tools, recommended by security experts that will store and remember passwords across browsers for you. These tools are safer than letting your web browser store passwords for you, as there have been cases of security flaws in some browsers, which hackers have exploited to access user data.
To ensure hassle-free password and login management, RoboForm Pro software proves to be an incredibly convenient tool for creating complex passwords, encrypting and storing them reliably (along with logins as well as other personal details and credentials such as PINs, credit card data, addresses, your friends’ contacts), and completely automating the login process and form filling when you need it. We recommend that you begin with the ‘free 30 day trial’ of the software.
Using this product is no technical mumbo-jumbo. The only thing you now do need to memorise is the master password – everything else will be done by RoboForm Pro. Once installed, the RoboForm Toolbar gives you quick access to the key features directly from your web browser (compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac and almost all mobile operating systems, also working flawlessly with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome).
RoboForm saves passwords in what are called PassCards. Using these, once you start to access a web page with an associated PassCard, RoboForm will automatically log you into that site. In addition, RoboForm can collect personal and sensitive information from you and store it. This feature is called Identities by RoboForm. Later, when forms online call for the stored information, RoboForm will fill it out for you. Apart from password management, RoboForm supplies instruments for storing other important data that safekeeps sensitive details like PINs, credit card numbers, locker codes, etc in an encrypted format so that no one can possibly retrieve them without your master password.
Money spent on RoboForm Pro will get you protection against dictionary attacks, keyloggers and phishing attacks, plus the ease of logging into myriad sites with just a click-and-go procedure.
LastPass is ideal for individual, family or professional users, and like other web-focused password managers, this, too, puts all your individual passwords behind one master password. When you type in that master password, LastPass can then automatically log you into any website you visit with saved login credentials.
Since LastPass syncs your account across all platforms, you can run it on multiple browsers at once, and always have immediate access to your user names and passwords. LastPass also recognises when you have put in a password for a page it does not have recorded and asks if you want it to store the password. This is handy as it then syncs that information across all plug-ins and online access to LastPass. If you upgrade from the free account to LastPass premium account (which is $1 per month), LastPass will also sync with your smartphone via the free app, for any platform you use.
Keepass is a free, open source password management system. It not only generates complex passwords, also provides a way to securely store and maintain them in an encrypted database. If you can remember one strong password to access Keepass, you will be able to access all your passwords. The app was created to run on Microsoft machines but can also run on Linux and Mac OS X.
Not only does it keeps a track of passwords, but also allows you to enter the unique user names for each site and the date upon which you created that account and password. This allows one to organise different accounts with their passwords into specific folders, such as Internet, email, home banking, network, Windows, etc. To access all of your folders and management tools, you only have to remember the single master password. It will generate strong, unique passwords for each entry you create.
The encryption algorithm of Keepass is watertight to prevent advanced hackers with decryption programming know-how from cracking the code. Ahile Keepass isn’t the be-all end-all of password management software, but for a free application that is OSI (Open Source Initiative) certified, there is a lot of care taken to keep the program useful and small.