Ask the Experts: An App for Passwords

I have about a zillion passwords and I can never keep them straight. Can you recommend an app that will store them all safely?

Security for your digital information is no joke these days. For most people, the weakest link is their password: Too many folks have one simple password for everything. The first step in improving your security is to improve your passwords. You’ll notice that I used the plural—passwords—because you should have different passwords for every website, credit card and membership. For them to be secure, each one should include symbols, numbers and lowercase and uppercase letters. 

The next step, then, is securing the list that helps you keep so many passwords straight. There are free apps to help you, but the better ones will cost something. Most have a yearly subscription fee, but my choice, 1Password, has a one-time charge of $50.

To get into the 1Password app—which is like a vault—I only have to remember the long, complex password I created for it. (One of the bonus features of the app is a password generator to help you create complex, random passwords.)

1Password is on my phone, my tablet and my computer, so I have all of my passwords with me everywhere. Plus, the app has a web-browser add-on that allows me to fill in web forms. This is different than using your browser to remember your information; that information is not secure. 1Password keeps it all separate and safe.

Barry Blumenfeld teaches at the Friends Seminary in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at New York University and on faculty at the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y.

Photo courtesy of Barry Blumenfeld

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