Password managers can help protect your data 

Password managers are software for your computer or mobile device that helps organize your Internet accounts and passwords. There are many password managers available to use, and some are even free.

All password managers will have these key features

Only need to remember one password: A password manager encrypts and stores all of your account info, like username, URL, password, and a notes field. It also will have a folder structure to help organize all of your different types of accounts. The password manager itself is protected by one main password.

Create strong and unique passwords for each site. A password manager can generate a unique and random password that is almost impossible for cyber-crooks to guess. Using a unique password on each of your different accounts, is a highly effective defense against identity theft and financial fraud.

Automatic sign-in: The problem with those unique and complex passwords is there is no reasonable way for us mere mortals to remember them. Password managers solve that problem by auto-filling your username and passwords into websites that you have saved. To do this, you install an extension for your web browser. The password manager can recognize sites you have saved and auto-fill the password.

Phishing protection: Password managers protect you from phishing because if you are sent to a login page that is fake, your password manager will not recognize the site as one that you have saved.

Supported on multiple devices: Most password managers have versions that run on multiple types of computing systems as well as smart phones and tablets.

Cloud or locally stored. Most password managers give you the option to store your password “vault” containing your saved account info either on the Internet (Cloud based) or locally on your computer or device. Cloud based storage gives you more portability, but you need to make sure to use a strong main password to prevent unauthorized access.

Risks to consider when using a password manager: Password managers can be like putting all your eggs in one basket. You must use a strong and unique password as your main one, and ensure you do not use it on other sites or apps.

Password manager best practices

  1. Make sure to follow prompts to upgrade your password manager software when asked to ensure you are using the most current and secure version.
  2. Register your personal and work email addresses for free data breach monitoring This service will alert you if your password has been exposed in a data breach and is no longer safe to use.

List of password managers: Here some of the most popular password managers: