Almost nothing in the world should be more important to you than your virtual security these days. We’re doing more with less; dropping pen and paper for an all-digital experience. A growing number of people don’t ever send away a check to cover a bill. They log in with a username and password to pay everything, listen to music and watch videos. Microsoft’s answer to this problem is Windows Hello login on devices like the Surface Pro 4 and the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1. If you’re constantly connected to the internet or do business online, you should absolutely have at least one of the best Windows password managers at your fingertips, though.
Think of Windows password managers as digital versions of the tiny phone books that everyone used to carry before the iPhone arrived and made managing contacts directly on your phone easier. You create a username and password for every account that you have. Sometimes, you’re asked to provide even more information. For example, financial institutions attempt to keep your money safer by asking back up questions about your life when they realize you are using a PC they haven’t seen you log in with before.
Windows password managers allow you to take all that information and have it at your fingertips anywhere. What’s more, they free you from having to memorize the passwords themselves, leaving you free to make them more complicated. The more complex a password is, the less likely someone with bad intentions can figure it out.
You need a good Windows password manager, even if you don’t think that you are tech-savvy enough. Windows password managers can prevent lots of hassle and heartache.
Why You Need a Password Manager for Windows
Escalation, that’s the reason you need a Windows Password Manager. Your identity has never been more at risk than it is today.
A decade ago, a reasonably complex password with letters and numbers could keep your account safe. Today, that’s no longer the case, people looking to steal accounts and resell them for money on the internet have improved their methods. We’re basically locked in an arms race over account security. As the public becomes more aware of bad password hygiene, hackers are learning how to break into accounts that have what would have been considered a decent password a few years ago.
Windows Password managers free you from having to remember your password. Without the burden of remembering them, you can make them complex and less likely that they can be hacked.
What Makes a Good Windows Password Manager
Though their reason for existing is simple, what makes Windows password managers great is complex. There are lots of things to consider when choosing the right solution for you.
The first thing that you should take into consideration is cost. Many Windows password managers have monthly service fees. That is, like Office 365, you need to pay for them on an ongoing basis. When you stop paying the monthly fee, they stop allowing you to add new passwords. There are password managers that don’t have a mostly cost though. Either they’re free for limited use or only have a cover charge for the app. Enpass, for example, has an up-front cost and doesn’t have a monthly charge.
Second, before picking a password manager, you need to make sure that whichever you decide on has more than just a Windows app. The last thing you want is to have all your passwords on your PC and not with you on your phone or tablet when you need them. Every Windows password manager worth using can sync passwords between notebooks, desktops tablets and Windows notebooks, desktops and tablets.
Another thing that you want to consider is the kind of security they require for access. That is, Windows password managers are great for protecting your accounts from threats outside your home. They do make it possible for someone to take your smartphone or tablet and use your accounts since they’re essentially putting them all in the same place. Your password manager needs a password too, or a way that you can guarantee only you have access.
Lastly, auto-fill should be a consideration of yours. Some password managers will automatically fill in your passwords when you browse to the website that needs them. Others require you to paste them into the window yourself.
Best Password Managers for Windows
Enpass has been around for a while. You can use its in-app password generator to create complicated passwords to thwart people trying to break into your account. The apps and program versions offer lots of organization so that you can quickly get to the password or sets of passwords that you need. The Enpass app available in the Windows Store recently picked up the ability to let you attach files and pictures with each entry, so you can add a picture of something you’ve written down, for example.
Enpass is available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Chromebooks and Macs. There are two versions available for Windows, one that works fine on Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs, and another that’s available in the Windows Store. The desktop version is available free of charge and has auto-fill. The Windows Store version allows you to unlock it with a Windows Hello camera sensor or fingerprint reader. It also supports password searching using the Cortana personal assistant. It costs $9.99, just like the mobile versions.
Rather than charge you each month, only the mobile apps cost anything up front. You have the option to sync between devices using Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and Box.