(+) The “Best” Password Manager Versus a Full-Featured Method of Securing All Sorts of Information

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

I just read an interesting article: Take control of password chaos with these six password managers, written by Jason Parker and published on the respected C|Net news site. In it, Parker describes what he believes are the six best password managers that securely keep track of the passwords you use on various web sites, including online banking, stock broker accounts, and all sorts of subscription sites.

Some of the password managers Parker describes work on multiple operating systems, including Macintosh, Windows, iOS, and Android. You can enter your passwords into software installed on one operating system and still be able to retrieve the passwords on your other computers by using the equivalent program from the same software producer. For instance, if you store your passwords on a program called “1Password” for Windows, you could retrieve those same passwords on your Android tablet, iPhone, or Macintosh laptop as long as 1Password is installed on that other device. Many of these password managers will automatically insert your user name and password when you visit a web site you have previously saved.

In all cases, the passwords are stored in some server, probably a cloud-based service, in a highly secure, encrypted database that is impossible for anyone else to read.

If you are looking for a nice method of storing and retrieving your passwords, you might read Jason Parker’s article at http://www.cnet.com/news/best-password-managers/. However, I must admit that I use none of them. My two methods of saving passwords are old-fashioned and primitive, but they work well for me. I also believe they both are highly secure. Best of all, both methods I use are available free of charge.

I will never suggest that my methods are better than that of a true password manager. However, they are completely under my control and work well for me. I find that password managers are limited: they usually store only passwords. That’s nice, but I want more. My methods save passwords and a lot more. They protect all my private information, such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, income tax information, prescriptions—in short, anything that a normal, sensible person would want to keep private. Both are available free of charge. My methods may or may not work for you.

One method I use is simpler to use but only works with one online service. The second method is a bit more complex but works almost anywhere. Both are highly secure.

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