To stay safe from hackers, you should be using a strong, unique password for each and every account, including online shopping, banking, social media, and email acounts. That means a minimum of eight characters, a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers, and special characters.
Weak or easily guessable passwords, such as your birthday, are at risk of being hacked. According to Verizon, 63% of all data breaches involve weak, reused, or stolen passwords.
But, remembering all of these complex passwords can be just about impossible, especially if you want to use ones that are hard to crack. Luckily, you don’t actually have to remember hundreds of complex passwords if you don’t want to. That’s what a password manager is for.
What is a Password Manager?
A password manager is a software app that manages your passwords for you. A secure password manager will create strong passwords using a series of letters, numbers and special characters, and will store them in its encrypted vault – either on your hard drive or on their own server.
All you need to remember is the master password. Once you’ve logged into the app, it will automatically fill in your username and password for you on any website or app that requires it.
If you’re shopping for a decent password manager, did you know that many antivirus programs already include one as part of the package?
Here are our top three picks:
1. Overall Best: Kaspersky Total Security
- Integrated password manager with sync across devices
- Top-grade internet security
- Minimal impact on device performance
Kaspersky (see user reviews) has a strong built-in password manager that makes your logins as secure as possible. It stores all your passwords in a secure encrypted vault and syncs them across your PC, Mac, and mobile so that they can be accessed on any device.
Your vault stores passwords, as well as applications, credit card numbers, addresses, notes, and even images. Image storage is perhaps the most exciting feature, as it can hold confidential photos that you don’t want to store locally.
Kaspersky also has the ability to store and auto-fill login information for offline applications as well, so you don’t have to copy and paste your passwords into desktop clients.
Apart from keeping your passwords secure, Kaspersky also does an excellent job of stopping malware, ransomware, viruses, and other bugs. It also offers signature scanning to catch known threats, behavioral monitoring to spot unknown “zero-day” malware and cloud-based analysis of suspicious activity.
Protect your passwords! See Kaspersky Deals >>>
2. Best For Ease of Use: Bitdefender Internet Security
- Easy-to-use password manager
- Strong malware protection
- Extra features like a firewall and VPN
- Minimal impact on system performance
Bitdefender (see user reviews) has all the tools to safeguard your digital life, including multi-layered malware protection, safe banking, a VPN, firewall, file encryption system, cross-platform parental controls, and a password manager.
Bitdefender has a great user interface, making it effortless to create and store strong passwords. It’s easy to navigate and the settings are very straightforward. You can securely access your passwords and login credentials that are kept secure in an encrypted wallet.
The wallet secures your passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive information. It also auto fills online forms while keeping your data safe. Wallet browser extensions are available for all the major browsers, including Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome.
Protect your passwords! See BitDefender Deals >>>
3. Best For Multiple Devices: Norton Internet Security
- Password manager with automated sync across devices
- Enterprise-grade malware protection
- Identity Safe features
Norton (see user reviews) offers multiple layers of security that work together to block and remove threats across your devices. Most important is its top-of-the-range identity theft protection: Norton Identity Safe that syncs all your data across multiple devices, so you stay protected from hackers at all times.
An industry leading software app, Norton Identity Safe includes a top-notch password manager which auto-fills usernames, passwords, credit card details and other kinds of sensitive information to prevent keyloggers from stealing your data. It also includes a desktop app, a web-based password vault, and mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Norton also offers a powerful two-way firewall that safeguards you against network-based attacks, and strong web blocking and URL protection. It also checks all downloads, files, and applications thoroughly before you can run them for extra protection from malware, spyware, and other malicious threats.
Protect your passwords! See Norton Deals >>>
The Bottom Line
We store a lot of personal information across multiple online accounts, so a complex password with a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters, is essential.
The more complicated, the better – but also the more complicated, the harder they are to remember. The best way to protect your identity is to use a password manager.
While stand-alone password managers exist, most antivirus programs already offer these tools as part of the package to keep your identity safe while also safeguarding your devices from malware attacks.