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All of us struggle with password memorization and management.  With so many devices, websites and apps it is a struggle to setup different passwords for each and remember them all.  Using the same password or variations of the same password is not a safe way to protect your information.  Keeping passwords in a personal file (either electronically or on paper) is a really bad idea long term protection from identity theft.  The solution is to use a credible password manager application.   PC Magazine reviews various password managers, and lists their features in the June article “The Best Password Managers for 2019.”  Lifehacker also provides a list of advantages and features in their article, “Five Best Password Managers.”  I encourage you to take a look at the different applications and their features.  Depending on the application you choose, you will find that using a password manager will increase your productivity and end hours of frustration by providing you with several benefits.

The biggest benefit of using a password manager is it remembers your passwords for you, and you can set it up to autofill your login and passwords on any of the sites you use.  No more looking for that note under your keyboard or through the file of notes for your password.  How many times have you established a new password for a site when your trusted file of passwords was not accessible?  It happens all the time.  A password manager will update your existing sites every time you change the password.  This eliminates your need to reset your password over and over again.  These apps also automatically save new sites as you set them up!  You no longer have to worry about writing it down or catching the information on your own.

You can also setup multiple profiles with your addresses and credit card information for work or personal use or any other category you wish to segment.  These profiles will autofill all of your information on any site you wish at the click of a button.  This puts an end to entering your name, address, phone number, etc on all of your on-line purchases.  What a huge time saver!

Another great benefit of using a password manager is it creates crazy weird password combinations.  Hackers, Security Gurus and Anti-Virus experts say that creating unusual passwords with combinations of letters, numbers and characters is one of the best ways to protect yourself against identity theft.  The app works in your browser, and it will ask you to generate a new password when you logging in to new sites.  If it generates the password for you, it saves it for you and keeps it locked away for your future use.  If it is an existing site has it already stored for you, the app will ask you if you want it to fill in your data.

An advantage to using one of these applications is the notifications it provides regarding passwords and hacks.  Password manager apps can tell you when you have created a weak or a strong password.  Some of the apps will tell you how strong or weak your password is on a scale, or the app will tell you what you can do to improve the password.  I know the manager I use, Lastpass, tells me when I have a duplicated a password too.   Several of the password manager programs will notify you when a site you use has been hacked or your information could be compromised.  The app will simply send you an alert or email to notify you to change that site’s password or tell you which action to take to protect your data.

When choosing a password manager, it is important to think about the features you need.  Not all of them provide the same advantages.  I do recommend choosing one that will sync across devices and will provide you with two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication is another layer of protection against identity and password theft.

Save yourself from frustrating password challenges by installing a password manager application.  If you are skeptical of the web-based systems, choose one that is just on your device.  Either way, it will save you the time, energy and hassles of keeping up with multiple passwords and you will be better protected from identity theft. Any password manager application will increase your productivity by eliminating a number of password challenges.  For information on other recommended productivity applications read Awesome Apps for Productivity.

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