Today, we have to take care of our personal information more than ever. Ensuring the safety of our data is crucial and sometimes difficult, but luckily, we’ve got many tools at our disposal. It’s no secret that online passwords are often easy to hack. And with technology advancing at an unbelievable rate, passwords are easier to hack every year.
To put this into perspective, a study showed that an eight-character password containing only lowercase letters could be cracked in just 15 hours. That was achieved with a modern computer running a powerful GPU in any computer store.
The solution? Use a password manager if you’re looking for a way to keep your data safe. A password manager helps you create and store passwords for all your online accounts.
Most password managers employ more functions than just storing and encrypting your passwords. They can generate random passwords that are difficult to hack, and that’s something even free password managers are capable of. And best of all, most password managers are free to use and available on many platforms so that you can have them on all your devices.
A good starting point is to stop saving your passwords on your web browser and try to find one good password manager to keep everything under control and more securely. This guide will look at the best free password managers you can lay your hands on while we first state the dangers of using weak passwords and the benefits these password managers bring into play.
The Dangers of Using Weak Passwords
Weak passwords are one of the biggest security threats today. If your password is easy to guess, a hacker can then access your account and steal your data in a matter of minutes or seconds.
So, the risk is pretty high if you have weak or duplicate passwords for critical websites such as bank accounts, personal email, and social media.
Some common tips for creating strong passwords include:
- Use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols
- Use different passwords for each of your accounts and not the same
- Avoid using common words or phrases
- Change your passwords often
These four simple tips can keep your data safe and secure online. But even if you do everything right, there’s still a risk that your password could land in the wrong hands. That’s where password managers come in handy.
Password managers create and store strong passwords in encrypted storage, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them. They also use encryption algorithms to keep your data safe and secure. So if you’re looking for a way to keep your data safe online, using a password manager is the best way to do it.
The Benefits of Using a Password Manager
When it comes to online security, using a password manager is one of the most important things you can do to protect your data. Here are some of the benefits of using a password manager.
They Keep Your Passwords Encrypted
One of the most significant benefits of using a password manager is that it helps keep your passwords secure. Most password managers use modern encryption algorithms, like AES-256, to protect your encrypted file storage, enabling access only to those with the master password.
It’s Easy to Create and Store Passwords
Another great thing about password managers is that they make it easy to create and store passwords for all your online accounts. All you have to do is enter your login information into the password manager, and it will remember the password. This can be a lifesaver when trying to set up a new account and can’t remember the password.
They Generate Random Passwords That Are Difficult to Hack
Many password managers also offer the ability to generate random passwords that are difficult to hack. This can be helpful when you’re creating a new account and want to make sure your password is strong and secure.
They Work on All Devices
Password managers are available for desktop and mobile devices to access your passwords from anywhere. This is handy if you need to change a password or add a new account while on the go.
Some Are Free to Use
Most password managers are free to use, which makes them a cost-effective way to keep your data safe. Others have free versions but offer limited features like a limited number of passwords you can save.
The Best Free Password Managers
Now that we discussed some valuable features password managers have, it’s time to look at the list we’ve put together for you. All these password managers are free to use, while others are free versions of subscription-based software.
KeePass is a popular password manager that is free, open-source and available on many platforms. KeePass has plenty of official ports, meaning there’s a version for every platform, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android.
It offers several features, including generating random and robust passwords and saving them in its encrypted storage. The greatest of its features is the dedicated plugins directory, with over 100 plugins that extend the software’s capabilities.
KeePass allows for one account with a master password, supports unlimited passwords, it’s portable, and supports password export – import from browsers and other password managers, making it convenient to switch.
It also comes with a handy, easy sign-in browser extension that you can download as a plugin.
NordPass is a relatively new password manager that is quickly gaining in popularity. It is available for desktop and mobile devices and offers various features, including the ability to generate strong passwords, save passwords, and encrypt your data.
A premium version for personal and business use is also available, adding features like staying logged in when switching devices and giving access to all your passwords in case of an emergency. You can also access your passwords using the handy browser extension to protect your online privacy better.
Its state-of-the-art encryption and coming from the developers of the famous NordVPN, NordPass guarantees a robust and convenient user experience.
If you’re looking for a password manager that is both reliable and easy to use, LastPass is a good option and among the best password managers.
LastPass doesn’t have a standalone desktop version and comes as a browser extension, offering the same functionality. You can install it on your Windows/macOS browsers, iOS and Android, and Linux operating systems.
With one account in the free version, you get unlimited password saving, access on one device type (computer or mobile), save and autofill passwords, and a password generator to create strong passwords. Instead of using a master password to protect its encrypted database, LastPass uses the LastPass Authenticator, a new feature in the software that allows for passwordless access.
LastPass also comes in premium versions for families and businesses, but even as a free password manager, it’s an exciting piece of software.
Dashlane guarantees that your personal data will always remain safe. Add the extension, create your account, and you’re ready!
Among the free password managers, Dashlane offers just 50 password entries and two-factor authentication for increased security, a password generator and the ability to share passwords among family members and third parties that use Dashlane without revealing your actual passwords.
The premium version adds 1GB of encrypted file storage, unlimited passwords, dark web monitoring for up to 5 email accounts and a VPN for added protection.
This is another compelling password manager with multi-platform support and plenty of features. RoboForm needs an account to function, and even in the free version, it allows for unlimited logins, a password generator and the ability to share passwords.
The paid version bumps the feature set giving account data backup, premium 24/7 support and access to all devices. At the same time, the business version offers a few more management options specially created for small to medium-sized businesses.
Most free password managers are simple, just like Sticky Password. The tool has software that runs on Windows, macOS, iOS and Android, offering convenient integration with every major web browser with auto form filling.
The application has a portable version, so you can run it from any USB drive and have all the passwords at your fingertips. That’s very convenient when working in remote environments or just wanting to keep your passwords away from your main computer.
Sticky Password makes it easy to send a password through a secure password-sharing technique, although it’s not as good as, for example, Dashlane or KeePass.
An inviting free password manager comes from the creators of the famous antivirus software. Norton Password Manager has the basic features and works as a browser extension on regular computers, although it has iOS and Android applications.
Feature-wise, it can spot any weaknesses in your passwords, it’s simple to use, allowing access to your passwords via biometrics scan, and it also has complete encryption for when using your passwords online, maximizing security.
Enpass is another offline password management solution. It works offline, and the company suggests keeping the password database on your devices locally, advising you to use your personal cloud accounts for storage.
It offers excellent sorting features so you can organize your passwords alphabetically, while it supports password auto-filling and a password generator. Apart from the free version (for desktops and smartphones), this password management solution also has premium plans to enhance its feature set.
For instance, there’s support for more members, email and forum support and unlimited vaults to keep passwords and items encrypted and secure.
The Master of Passwords
When it comes to password security, using a free password manager is one of the best ways to keep your data safe. Use the free versions at first, and if you need more functionality out of your software, you can opt for the premium version that adds all the extras you’re looking for.
Generally, plenty of password managers have all the essentials like password encryption, password generation and many more. The most important part is to find the software that ticks all the boxes, and that’s because free password managers come with a wealth of different interfaces, options and usability.
We have to note that KeePass is an outstanding option with cross-platform support and the ability to save notes in one handy interface. NordPass is also a compelling option that brings great encryption and lets you completely control your passwords.
Ease of use is guaranteed with each of the above solutions, and most allow you to import your passwords from your web browser to the software effortlessly, saving you time from having to rebuild your database from scratch.