Use Password Day to renew your online security

Happy Password Day!

Or, at least I hope it’s a happy one for you. I know that for many denizens of the online world, today won’t be so happy, and it seems that almost every day there’s a story making headlines that reminds us of this point.

One of the latest big Internet security (or lack of security) stories lately has been the theft of Netflix’s new season of “Orange is the New Black.” But just because we only hear about it when major organizations get hacked, don’t think that the bad guys are going to give your somewhat smaller company a pass – because they won’t.

Further, it might not be Russian hackers that get you, it could be an angry ex-employee, ex-girlfriend, ex-boyfriend, ex-spouse, or just some middle-school digital savant out to prove a point.

In many of these cases, the first, and most important line of defense, is establishing good password habits. I want to take the occasion of Password Day to share a couple of important articles that have previously appeared on these pages and then direct you to a list of good password managers so that when this day comes around again next year, you will be employing the highest levels of password security.

Healthy password habits

While I strongly recommend using a password manager, I know that some of you are going to resist the idea…even though there are freemiums on the market that would do the trick for many users.

If you absolutely, positively, refuse to take the time to compare the various password managers available to you, please review the important password habits and strategies I outline in this article. Also, at the end of the article I provide a link to a webpage where you can check the strength of any password.

A plug for password managers

We have been very fortunate over the last few years to have Internet security expert Robert Siciliano write guest articles for us and he has tackled the topic of password managers on a couple of occasions:

Robert does an excellent job making the case for using a password manager, but he goes beyond that and gives you the information you need to understand how they work, why a third-party app is superior to your browser-based system, how they make life easier, and a lot more details that will help overcome your reluctance to take the password manager plunge.

Comparing the password managers

There are several excellent password managers on the market and almost all of them have plans that cover levels from the single user to families to businesses. Further, the basic plans are often free.

Spend some time comparing features before you make your choice, because once you settle on a provider, you want to be able to stick with it for the long term. Below is a chart with the most widely used password managers. The ratings are from GetApp and you can head over there if you want to read some user reviews. A link to each app website is provided in the chart.

App Reviews Rating Cost Personal Business
LastPass 86 4.8 $0-$4 monthly X X
1Password 34 4.4 $3-$5 monthly X X
Zoho Valut 2 4.5 $0-$7 monthly X X
Dashlane 19 4.7 $0-$40 yearly X X
TeamsID 26 4.2 $2 monthly and up X X
Keeper 70 4.9 $30-$60 per year X X
Mitto Free (no mobile app) X