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If you find yourself asking, “how secure is my password?” when it comes to thinking about securing your various accounts, you are not alone. If you are not sure, don’t feel too bad, according to a Harris Interactive survey, more than half of Americans realize they need to change their password habits.
How secure is my password? What password habits should you break?
Bad password habits can leave you vulnerable. Here are some things that you should NOT be doing if you want to be more secure online:
- Reusing passwords (guilty of this myself)
- Creating weak passwords, such as your dog’s name, 12345, or password123
When it comes to protecting your valuable information you can never be too safe. Those passwords share common patterns, which creates vulnerability across the various accounts we all use every day. We should be especially careful when it comes to the accounts that need to be the most secure, like credit cards and bank accounts. Even our social media sites can put us at risk. If one account gets hacked, all accounts sharing the same password and email are at much greater risk.
How Apps Can Help Manage and Improve Passwords
- With many accounts prompting and requiring stronger passwords, including a combination of letters, capitalization, numbers and characters, password management apps can really help.
- Many that enhance and simplify the user’s life share similar features, such as auto-creation of complex passwords, auto-fill of forms and encryption of information for safety.
- That’s helpful considering a recent Harris Interactive survey that indicates 59 percent of adults admit to reusing passwords due to the difficulty remembering them.
- The complex passwords created can be easily stored and used, and often shared across platforms, including home computers, work computers and smart devices, like the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Edge and iPads.
Password Management Apps Available for Smartphone/Tablet Users
Using a password management app has helped me feel a little more secure about all the accounts I have out there, and it also helps me from having to remember different passwords for each one. I find I’m no longer asking myself how secure is my password because I can create a really strong, new password for each account and know that it is locked away safe with the help of some of these apps.
- Keeper: As the number one most downloaded password management app, Keeper provides users with the ability to manage passwords across various accounts.
- Keeper’s free version provides local password storage and use on one device.
- A $29.99 per year subscription is required to access many of its quality features. Those include unlimited password storage, secure online storage for photos, videos and documents, and access across multiple devices, along with the ability to share the information with other users. Those with a subscription can also set up fingerprint login for quick and secure access to their account. While my Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge from U.S. Cellular has a fingerprint option, I love that there is the extra security for my account passwords with another fingerprint scan.
- Dashlane: Dashlane is another great option. It’s, rated among the top password manager apps and is listed as Editor’s Pick in the Google Play Store. In addition to creating complex passwords for accounts, Dashlane acts as a digital wallet to make secure on-the-go payments and provides security breach alerts for usernames and passwords. Offered for $39.99 per year, the premium subscription allows syncing across devices, securing Cloud backup and accessing information via the web.
- LastPass: This trusted app provides users with a secure vault and organization of accounts for user preference. Its features also allow for easy transitions between accounts on the same site. Like many other password management apps, LastPass can also keep track of credit card information, audit account passwords, record secure audio notes and more. Premium features for $12 a year include a shared family folder, unlimited device sync, multi-factor authentication and access to accounts from any device or computer.
- I use LastPass on my Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge and it has been a great way to avoid having to enter in a password each time I go to a new site. I love having the LastPass login option instead!
Think about how often you ask yourself, ‘how secure is my password’ and decide if perhaps one of these apps would be right for you.
Have you tried any other password management apps that work well?