How to Store Passwords Safely?

Passwords are the keys to your entire digital life. They protect everything from your bank account and credit cards, to your personal and work emails, to your social profiles, and everything in between. Unfortunately, in the last 12 months, there has been a 60% increase in users infected with password-stealing malware. Hundreds of millions of passwords were breached by hackers in 2019 alone. Handling password is a very tedious job when you have a lot of accounts. With the average person maintaining 90 or more accounts that require passwords, one should really have to know how to securely store and keep track of passwords and online logins. In this article, you are going to learn the safest way to store your passwords so that you don’t get locked out of your favorite websites.

The Common Ways to Store Passwords:

  • Write them down on a piece of paper:

When it comes to storing passwords, one of the most common ways that many people do is to simply write them down on a paper. Though it’s convenient and easy, there is a chance that someone could find those passwords and have access to all of your information. In your workplace, you will need to handle tons of passwords that related to your work, like your corporate email, databases, and accounting systems. If you put all your passwords on a piece of paper and once somebody finds the paper and does something bad with your account, you could get fired. Even if you lock it up, it’s probably not terribly secure. Similarly, for a home user, you can’t store any passwords for email, bank, and probably your Facebook by simply writing down on a piece of paper. If somebody finds your list on the sidewalk or steals your wallet, they’ll have all the information they need to get into your accounts.

  • Store them on a computer:

Storing passwords on a computer is another common way that many people do nowadays. They may keep their passwords remembered in the web browser or save them using Microsoft Word or Excel. The saved password document is mostly named “Passwords” and located in somewhere of your computer. Some people even save their log-in details and passwords on Email draft. However, this method is less than secure. Anyone with access to that computer could easily find and steal passwords stored like this.

Password Managers Are Your Best Bet to Store Passwords Safely

In today’s ultra-connected world, you must learn how to keep your password secure and store them safely. Still using the old school methods to store your passwords? Stop doing it now! To take passport protection seriously and implement the password storage best practices, you need to learn how to store passwords securely with a password manager. What’s a password manager then?

A password manager is an essential tool for those who are struggling with remembering and storing multiple passwords or have difficult in keeping tracks of their passwords. The tool typically stores your passwords in a secure, encrypted database that may be located on your computer, but is also stored online (“in the cloud”) and can be synchronized among your devices. This makes your passwords available to you from any computer or mobile device, as long as you remember your master password – the only password you have to remember to open the password manager. A password manager also can generate strong passwords for you. So, you can get strong, unique and random passwords for each account and the best thing is you don’t even need to remember them. Most password managers come with auto-fill feature which automatically fills in your username and password whenever needed. For example, if you do online banking, every time you visit your bank website, your username and password will automatically populate in the correct fields – so you can log in with one click. This way reduces manual errors and protects systems from hacker attacks such as keylogging. Some top password managers like Dashlane, LastPass even have more advanced features that allow people to share passwords, Wi-Fi logins, memberships numbers, login credentials, safely with other people for example. Or they even provide Emergency Access feature to transfer your logins to a trusted person in the event of your death or incapacity. Password managers organize and manage everything for you while keeping your personal data and various accounts secure. Check out the best password managers here to securely store and generate strong passwords in seconds. 

LastPass – A Feature-Rich Password Manager App

LastPass is one of the most popular free password manager apps out there known for its ease of functionality and security. It works on both your desktop and your phone (Android or iOS). Apart from storing your passwords, memberships, IDs, and software keys, LastPass can auto-fill your credentials in the apps and websites with one click, and help you generate strong and unique password that protect against hacking. In addition, LastPass is able to monitor accounts for security breaches, suggest changing weak passwords, and even sync your passwords between your computer and phone. The App uses AES encryption with a 256-bit key for your data stored on their servers, the same encryption used by governments, military, banks and other organizations across the world to protect sensitive data. One of the coolest thing is that LastPass supports multi-factor authentication that secures your password vault and adds a second layer of protection on your account. This ensures that your passwords are not accessed by anyone else.
LastPass is used by two million people every single day. The service offers both a free version and a premium version. It is worth mentioning that LastPass is the only service we recommend that offers password syncing between devices on its free plan. Their free version includes multi-factor authentication, free credit monitoring, password generator, secure notes and secure challenge. Or you can purchase the app for $3 per month (billed annually) to unlock premium features like 1 GB of encrypted file storage, priority customer service, and emergency access. LastPass gives you a 30-days free trial for its Premium Plan, perfect for people who want to test it out.

Dashlane – The Most Secure Password Manager

Another free password manager that works on across phones and desktops is Dashlane. It is more than a password manager, but also a secure digital wallet where you can store passwords, credit card information, bank account details, IDs and several other personal details securely. Dashlane is trusted by more than 10 million users in 180 countries. Like most other password managers, Dashlane creates strong passwords for you, saves them, and autofills Web-forms with personal information. So the only thing you need to remember is your master password to open the encrypted vault. With Dashlane, you don’t have to rely on less secure password storage methods, like writing them on the paper and locking it up inside the drawer or saving as a document in the PC. Dashlane saves and protects your passwords with AES 256 encryption. This password management tool covers all essential and advanced password management features. In addition to storing your login passwords and auto-filling them whenever you may require them, Dashlane also allows you to reset hundreds of your passwords at once with the help of its password changer. And there is an Instant Security Alerts feature that works by notifying you if any of the sites you access has had a breach. For premium users, there is a dark web monitoring feature which will scan the dark web for leaked personal data associated with up to five email addresses, and send you alerts when any is found.

Dashlane offers a free account that can store up to 50 entries. Unfortunately, it’s limited to one device, so you can’t sync between iOS and desktop. If you use multiple devices, you’ll probably want the Premium version. Dashlane’s Premium version has a lot of features that will ease the process of managing and storing passwords. It costs $4.99 per month (around $60 per year). And there’s also a Premium Plus Plan, which is priced at $9.99 per month (around $120 per year) and includes some identity theft and recovery tools. Although the price of Dashlane Premium is more expensive when compared to similar types of service, the price difference averages out to about $1 per month and Dashlane Premium covers a simplified VPN that lets you stay safe online. There’s a 30-day free trial for Dashlane Premium and Dashlane Premium Plus as well, so you can test it out before committing.

Published on July 26, 2019 Editor1