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Coming up with a secure password is like getting an annual physical -- annoying but way too important to skip. Having to remember said password, however, can be downright hellish, especially if that alphanumeric combo is the only thing standing between you and, say, your online bank account. To help you safely manage all your secret codes, we rounded up the best high- and low-tech tools.
Brand-new for Apple users, iCloud Keychain securely stores your usernames and passwords on the Mac and iOS devices of your choosing, and automatically fills them in when prompted.
There’s a lot to love about the browser plugin LastPass. For starters, it will import all of your passwords onto its cloud-based encrypted servers. Then, when you visit a password-protected page, the tool will detect the form fields and automatically log you in. LastPass can also generate hacker-proof passwords using multiple types of characters and will securely fill out online forms for you, once you tell it key info like your credit card number or home address. Best part? It’s totally free.
Like the name implies, you’re only on the hook for remembering one password, which you’ll use to create, store and retrieve all your other ones. 1Password also securely syncs that data between your Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows or Android devices using iCloud, Dropbox or wi-fi. It costs about $40 to set up a family.
Need a device to deal with all your devices? Consider picking up a little gizmo called Password Vault. The tool, roughly the size of a mobile phone, securely stores your passwords, user names and other codes and allows you to retrieve them easily. Your data is stored in the gadget’s own memory, so your sensitive information is way offline.
Write it Down
If you’re more of a luddite, you’ll love the low-tech simplicity of a password-organizer notebook, like this one. There’s room for web addresses, usernames, passwords and notes. This probably goes without saying, but since this is the only record of your sensitive information, stash it somewhere safe.