I will share anything with my best friends except – my passwords!

Happy International Friendship Day to All!

This friendship day is perhaps different for many of us, due to the lockdown. Some of us may not be able to hang out or have the get-together that we usually do on friendship day. Or perhaps your friend is overseas, and you haven’t got together in some time. You don’t have to sit together over a beer to share your thoughts and memories. You have the phone and the internet. How about a surprise? Search out the craziest photos you have of your times together and create a slideshow. Get your creative side fired up and write a poem for your friends. Or send them an awesome recipe if they like cooking. Send them an e-book if they are the bookish type.

One thing it isn’t cool to share on this day though are your passwords, yet this is what people do every day by storing passwords in unsecured text files, in emails, or sharing them with friends via chat, email, text etc. Even if you believe you are safe, anything could go wrong. Time to take cybersecurity seriously.

Unless you are a supercomputer, you have just too many passwords to store in your brain. Did you know that the average person has around 200 passwords? The average person also falls into the trap of using the same password for every site – it stands to reason that if you use the same password on many internet sites, sooner or later it will get hacked and then you can lose your whole life.

What is a password manager?

It is an app used to store passwords in an encrypted form and manage them. It requires the user to create a master password to access it.
By storing all the passwords in one place, it makes it very easy to access them, and the headache of remembering all the passwords can be forgotten. This is not only user friendly but also adds another level of security to your passwords. There are good paid and free ones out there. The best thing about free password managers is that if you don’t like the one you are using you can skip on to the next one – at no cost.

Free password managers – our top three picks

Myki Password Manager and Authenticator

  • Data secured on the smartphone.
  • Secure sharing.
  • Brower extensions available for any platform.
  • Password strength report available.
  • Excellent and enhanced features.

LastPass Password Manager

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Secured sharing.
  • Advanced features that are mostly available with paid versions.
  • Excellent password strength report.
  • Password syncing across devices.

RememBear

  • Best for new password manager users with its simple to use features
  • Easy syncing across devices
  • Biometric identification for iOS and Android
  • Unique New Device Key (NDK) option if you lose the master password
  • Free version offers unlimited password storage for a single device only. However, the premium version has the best value for similar managers.

If you are looking for a paid one that provides more features, Dashlane is the best password manager out there.

Dashlane

It is highly secure, has excellent encryption and has a whole set of powerful features.

  • Password Changer – This is the star feature of Dashlane – replaces hundreds of passwords with just one click.
  • Authentications – 2FA, biometric identification, USB authentication.
  • VPN – No-logs policy prevents the storage of browsing data. Unblocks geo-restricted streaming services.
  • Monitoring of Dark Web for breach – Scans, notifies and recommends fixes for any breach of identity on the dark web.
  • Syncing across major devices and platforms.
  • Family plan– Six accounts at approximately 75% lesser cost of six individual accounts. Private accounts for each member.

Many of us are blessed with friends with whom we share every little detail of our lives. Best friends are one of the pillars of our lives, and you share everything with them. They are our safe lockers to store all our secrets. Passwords are just not one of those secrets.

For more help on securing your devices and systems, speak to our cybersecurity technicians.

Computing Australia is a member of The Computing Australia Group of Companies

Jargon Buster

VPN – Virtual Private Network. Creates a private network across a public network to provide online privacy and anonymity for sharing of data.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) – Access is granted only after two steps of authentication. You will need to provide two pieces of evidence to establish your identity.