Thursday, 9 June 2016

Keep your passwords safe using a reputable online Password Manager

This is a guest post from Carolynn Bruton, a past teacher from Cape Town. She wrote about these online Password Managers in one of her IT at Home newsletters, and has offered the post as a guest post to SchoolNet.

"One of the most annoying things about online applications, including banking and applications like Twitter and Facebook, is that they all need passwords for personal log-ins. Many people continue to use the same email address and password for all their applications. Often these passwords are quite intuitive and people who do this are making their personal details vulnerable to suspicious characters, malicious spyware or hackers. It sounds scary but if you are really careful about password creation and never use the same password more than once, you will save yourself many problems.

I use “The Vault” on my iPad and iPhone, and a programme called 1Password on my Windows laptop.
The Vault The Vault is only available for the iPad. It is not the fictional defunct USA prison facility, but is a secure documents and data storage application. It is completely free and is the perfect place to store those important usernames and passwords on a completely secure site which only requires 1 digit or 1 Alpha-numeric password.
Besides the usual usernames and passwords, you can add photos of confidential or insurable items, e.g. jewellery, credit card and ID details, or those important model and service tags which are found underneath your devices or in the About section of your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. You can store any number of photos from your camera or e-mail the information directly from the app. You can also import them from Dropbox, Safari, Google mail. The secure AES (Advanced European Standard) 256 bit encryption is an encryption algorithm for securing sensitive but unclassified material by US government agency. Here is the link to the Vault app in iTunes https://goo.gl/G8ogd5 Now all your password secret codes used in is an important documents can be safely stored and available on one Apple website, and you only need to remember one password. This will simplify and speed up shopping for those who enjoy making online purchases.

1Password
1Password is recommended by many reputable PC magazines and is available for Android, Mac, Windows and iOS users https://goo.gl/2jDg4m. It is reviewed by CNet here. It allows you to generate strong passwords which are 256-bit encrypted (definition here).It is not free.

Other online Password Managers
There are a number of other password managers however and I would recommend that you chose one of them and start filling in all your details, including photos or videos of valuable possessions and serial numbers such as those on your TV or laptop so that they can be submitted to your insurance agent and can be individually itemised. I DON’T recommend LastPass as it has had poor reviews.
  • mSecure is another password protection manager. The Windows version on the app store costs R115.90 and the free version for an iPad is available here. What I like about mSecure is that you can import data from another password manager app which is useful if you have upgraded your device.
  • KeePass has also had some good reviews – especially for those who use open source software.
  • PasswordBox is another free password manager which I haven’t tried, but which has had good 2016 online reviews.
So to, remember all your passwords easily, and know that they are safely stored for you to peruse them whenever you need to, why not try one of these Password Managers!"

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