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3 Tools to Strengthen Your Passwords, Part 2

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When we last met, we discussed the importance of using strong passwords to protect your identity. We now want go over three solutions to manage all of your different passwords spread out over your many different accounts.

Each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses. Human error on the user’s part, and a hacker’s level of determination, can cause a breach in even the world’s most elaborate security systems. Although, every password security solution does have one thing in common, they are all better than a sticky note on the computer monitor.

LastPass

LastPass works as an application with your web browser. All of your account information is encrypted and stored over a cloud for you, and when you visit the login page, you click the Last Pass widget, it fills in the information and boom-bada-bing, you are in.

Some people may have reservations about storing their passwords over somebody else’s server, but password management companies work hard to keep your information safe. LastPass serves as a good case study; they were hacked in March 2011 and came out clean because all their data was encrypted. Sony, which got hacked around the same time, did not fare so well, all of their data was not encrypted.

RoboForm

RoboForm is instantly attractive to anybody who spends a significant amount of time filling out forms. RoboForm securely stores all the information you type 10 times a day (name, address, credit card number, etc.) over a cloud, including your passwords, and automatically uses this information to fill in forms and account logins for you.

Roboform does has a free 12 day trial period, but then the charges begin. Like all robots, RoboForm does not have emotions, so RoboForm does not feel bad about charging you $30-$40 to purchase the software, and $10-$20 for a yearly subscription. There are several online customer complaints about Roboform surprising their users with additional fees for upgrades and other expenses. Roboform is good at damage control and quick to post in every negative blog article, “RoboForm Pro is $29.95 and this includes free lifetime maintenance and support. We have never charged for ‘incremental upgrades’ in 11 years of honest business 011000110.” In typical internet fashion, this RoboForm post is followed by a dozen posts saying the contrary with rather harsh language. We encourage you to read the fine print before signing up for RoboForm to avoid any surprises.

KeePass

KeePass is perhaps the most technical option, because it is open source software. It’s advantage is in it’s portability, KeePass gives you the option to transport your password information on a smartphone or USB drive, and use it on any computer. The open source community also opens the door for compatibility with almost all operating systems and devices.

KeePass doesn’t offer the convenience of cloud storage, but you can use a separate cloud storage service to store your KeePass file. The popular file sharing service Dropbox, is a great tool to use in combination with Keypass. As a bonus, Dropbox recently added a two-factor identification security measure; this means they will send you a temporary password to your mobile phone. The Dropbox and KeePass combination serves as a great way to double up password security, and make use of the clouds accessibility.

With all of these services, weaknesses can be exploited. A stolen laptop or smartphone is probably the easiest way to exploit any password solution, but there are even ways to lock down your device in case of theft. TMS is here to help you with password security; we can even manage your entire network for the ultimate security solution. Call us today at 1 (626) 737-2960 to learn more.