Any IT security expert will tell you: it is never too late to optimize your password management system. Here is a small selection of software to make the task easier.
The most secure way to store a password is, of course, to erase it from any online device and remember it. But not everyone has this ability. It must be said that the right password consists of letters and numbers with different casing and special characters. From the outset, the situation becomes more complicated. Besides, every time a database is hacked, we are told that it is better to choose a different password for each of our accounts. The brain can, therefore, quickly overheat with the increasing amount of platforms we use everyday..
Of course, we know the password managers embedded in browsers, but some software goes a little further and offers more comprehensive and robust services. On the one hand, not all browsers store passwords encrypted on the user’s machine. On the other hand, the process may not be available on all platforms. Finally, these managers most often lack functionalities.
LastPass, the most comprehensive solution
LastPass is one of the best-known services in this market. Although the company has applications for Windows and OS X, they are only configuration wizards for creating a user account. All management is effectively based on an online interface.
Like Dashlane, LastPass does not just store passwords securely. There is a section where you can place secure notes. It is also possible to enter pre-filled forms, whether it is an identity card, an address, a credit card, or even a personalized way.
LastPass has a community dimension with the ability to share passwords securely and also offers to specify one or more contacts in case of an emergency. The Security Challenge section is attractive because it reviews all passwords and assesses their overall security, for example, by identifying duplicates.
Dashlane, an attractive but expensive application
Dashlane is a relatively new service since it dates back to 2012. Without any conventional measure, the interface is much more modern than that of KeePass, and the service goes beyond simple password management.
In the left-hand sidebar, there is indeed a section called “Portfolio,” which proposes to store personal data for the automatic filling of input fields on websites. It is also possible to fill in credit cards, save copies of identity documents or place payment receipts on them. In the “Contacts” section, it is possible to determine which data can be shared with a third party and also specify a privileged contact in case of an emergency.
Dashlane includes extensions for Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers and, to some extent, for other Chromium-based browsers.
The user does not have access to the database created by Dashlane for one reason: it will not be possible to store it in a directory associated with an online storage service. The cross-platform synchronization option is indeed charged (from 40 euros per year). Subscription is also accompanied by unlimited sharing of notes and IDs with your favorite contacts, user account backup, and priority support.
KeePass, the leader of free softwares
KeePass is the open-source reference for password management. The software manages several databases, which are protected by a master key. The interface may seem relatively austere. In the left side panel, we find a tree structure with various default sections: Windows, Networks, Internet, eMail, Home banking.
Since its development is open source, KeePass has an extensive database of third-party plugins. For example, they will allow you to back up the database, or integrate the software into a browser, synchronize the database with an online service or ensure compatibility with another software when importing.
For added security, it is possible to automatically lock the application once the window has been reduced when another computer user session has been activated or before the machine enters sleep mode. In addition to secure password backup, the software offers to generate passwords for new accounts.
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