The big four password vaults
Password vaults remember security logins for you, and also help create random passwords. Here are four of the best systems to help manage your passwords.
The company reacted quickly to prevent any compromise of user password stores after a possible security breach early in 2011, although the shadow of the attack still hangs over LastPass.
It remains a good option for those who want to balance security with convenience. It features automatic password generation and works on any OS and with any browser, syncing passwords to the cloud.
KeePass is an open-source, local password vault that works on multiple platforms and has all the secure functionality you’d expect, including automatic password generation and login completion.
It isn’t as easy to integrate with every browser as LastPass, but you do get a choice of either AES or Twofish encryption for your entire password database, both with 256-bit key sizes.
There’s also the option to create a double authentication process of a key disk and password to access the database.
Better known in the Mac marketplace, 1Password also has a Windows version, as well as apps for smartphones.
It’s another local vault rather than a cloud-synced one, although it does offer Dropbox integration, with a password generation and completion tool as well as a “data store” for other sensitive information. Unlike LastPass or KeePass, 1Password isn’t free.
RoboForm has long been “the daddy” of password vaults, with a comprehensive choice of encryption algorithms (AES, Blowfish, RC6, 3-DES or 1-DES), an excellent password generator, autofill functionality and a portable version for USB thumb drives.
You can choose local storage only, or opt into the cloud-based version, and there’s mobile device support for Android, iOS and the Nokia version of Symbian.