Get Productive: Password Manager

I’ve only been in the ONID program since January, but I’ve already noticed that I’ve been using wide variety of web tools- infographic toolstimeline tools, a feed reader, a mind mapping tool, and so on. Each of these tools requires a new login and password, and up till now, I’ve kept track of all of these logins/passwords in a Word document. Since that probably isn’t very secure, and definitely isn’t very organized since it’s just a list (in no particular order), I decided to try out a password manager.

I started by just googling “best password manager,” and came across this article. Honestly, that overwhelmed me a little bit since (a) I didn’t want to pay for anything, and (b) I wasn’t even sure what some of these features were.

So, I went to the app store on my Mac. First, I downloaded the app “Keeper.” You login with a master password on this screen:

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 8.45.29 PM

Then, you can organize your passwords into folders, entering a title, login, password, URL, and notes.

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 8.46.45 PM

I liked the organization style. However, after I put in a few of my passwords, I realized that I only was signed up for a free 30-day trial, so I went back to the app store and downloaded Dashlane. It seemed to function similarly, and looks like this when you login:

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 8.27.23 PM

You can’t organize passwords into folders like you can in Keeper, but I liked that you can sort sites alphabetically, category, most used, least used, etc. Too, once you have the password typed in, you can either click a button that takes you directly to the site (and logs you in), or, you can copy it and go to the site on your own. Dashlane also shows you how very-not-secure your passwords are (yikes), can generate secure passwords for you, and can change your passwords automatically. I haven’t tried out these features yet, but as I get more comfortable trusting Dashlane, I assume it will improve my productivity. At the very least, now I have a better way to sort and store my passwords.

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2 Comments

  1. Good choice of topic! Somewhere not that long ago, Jim Groom talked about learning to use some kind of password manager as a fundamental skill. Not just because it helps deal with the mess of so many passwords on a practical level, but as a matter of security: which is an important topic…people who use password managers are likely to use better password practices (better passwords, different passwords on different sites). I use 1Password and it has a nice function that reminds me to change passwords and also shows me all the places I (still, sometimes, ashamedly) where I am using the same password. Not a good idea in this age of identity theft, password hacks, etc.

    Someday this will hopefully get better with different security approaches than simple passwords. But for now…

  2. I’ll have to check out 1Password- Dashlane has been ok but I’m curious to see how other ones would compare. I’ve always dragged my feet on using tools like these- even though they’re designed to make our lives easier, getting them set up & going is an effort & takes a little motivation. I was glad for an assignment like this that gave me the needed push to finally get around to doing it!

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