The increase in technologies and people staying home during the pandemic have reinforced the many online lessons we all need to relearn.

In this series of IAM Online Safety Tips, we aim to help reinforce and provide gentle guidance on why it is essential to be aggressive with your online account passwords and keep them safe.

The sad reality is that most people create a password personally relatable to them so they can remember their password. In addition to this, many are using the same password for every account.

According to this 2020 report, 65 percent of people admit to using the same password for multiple online accounts. These two factors alone lead to significant risks while online; however, both are easily fixable in a single change.

A solution that we discuss and teach in the Basic Web class at William W. Winpisinger Center is using a password manager. While the services we use and teach may change, the basics of how these managers work remain the same. A single password encrypts your library of passwords in a single location, thereby allowing you to keep your account logins safe and protected. With plugins for nearly every single web browser available on the market, most of these services also provide mobile apps so that your accounts are always at your fingertips.

In addition to keeping your passwords and other account information safe, these managers offer other tools, including password generators, password change reminders, and even notes and credit card details for safe online transactions. Everything included in your password manager account is protected with the latest and highest level of encryption to keep your information safe.

We recommend that everyone takes a look at using a password manager. A few of the best are listed below and will help minimize the possibilities of identity theft, account hackers, and more.

The Bitwarden Platform | Bitwarden (Free & Paid) – Allows multiple devices on the free plan. They also have a paid plan that unlocks other tools, so far as test the free plan seems to provide enough.

Pricing by Plan | LastPass (Free & Paid) – LastPass used to be No. 1, however recent changes in their policies (not able to sync across all devices) have made this option less desirable. It is still however a solid option.

Online Password Manager Pricing and Plans – Zoho Vault – (Free & Paid) – While we have not tested this platform, it comes highly regarded among industry experts and compares to Bitwarden.

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