A Beginner’s Guide To Password Management

Online Password Management is a booming industry.  Maybe you’re “one of the millions of Americans using the most popular passwords, such as ‘password,’ ‘trustno1,’ ‘abc123,’ ‘monkey’ or ‘letmein.’”

 If so, you’re at risk, as Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData, a provider of password management applications, warns. He explains, “Hackers can easily break into accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords.”

1Password By AgileBits (https://agilebits.com/)

With 1Password, passwords are stored on locals devices and backed up to the cloud. The password file itself is password protected and encrypted, and one need only remember a single password and 1Password handles the rest. Their desktop provides a plug-in for the top browsers and mobile platforms as well. As Jonathan Lyons of Lyons Digital Media, LLC imparts, “With the constant syncing to the master file in the cloud, I’m never out of date on a password and I always have a password wherever I am on whichever device I’m using. I just love this software.”  

1Password can be used “to store all of our passwords, software serial numbers, credit cards, and other important information. 1Password has dramatically increased our security by allowing us to easily use random and complex passwords that are different for each service. It also speeds up the login process within the auto fill hot key of passwords, address forms, and billing details.”

LastPass (https://lastpass.com/)

LastPass is a browser extension that remembers all of your passwords across multiple computers and devices.  Matt Ramos, Director of SEO at LocalVox Media Inc., says he is “currently managing 500+ passwords in LastPass. Fighting with forms is no longer a problem. Every password I’ll ever need is always at my fingertips.” LastPass comes with mobile, as well.

Dashlane (https://www.dashlane.com/en/)

Dashlane syncs across multiple devices, remembers credit card information and autofills whenever a page requests your contact and password/billing info.

RoboForm (http://www.roboform.com/)

Kevin Varnon, an MBA, uses RoboForm.  RoboForm has been around the block, having been around since 1999, the company “has been simplifying password management for nearly 15 years.” RoboForm offers phone support and includes syncing, backups and use on multiple computers and mobile devices (up to 10 logins).” They boast the age of their users ranges from 9-99.

Password Plus https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/passwords-plus-secure-password/id486941825?mt=8

A popular password management app  for iOS, Android, Windows and Mac. Easily downloadable from the iTunes store.


MobileVaults “lets you forget remembering and changing passwords.” According to Gyle Iverson, CEO & Co-founder of MobileVaults, “…no competitive password managers exist that automatically and safely store, manage, type, and change passwords. We also wanted to store passwords on our smartphone to keep physical control, have our passwords changed for us automatically to protect us from hackers, and use proximity connections with laptop or tablet web browsers as passwords are needed.” MobileVaults plans to launch in November.

The Old School Way

You could, for instance, use a spreadsheet. That’s what Breck Carrow, President of StopSpreadsheetErrors LLC, does.

“My business and personal data are on separate tabs and each tab isorganized into categories for easy retrieval. Also included are a hyperlink to the pertinent website, logon name, multiple security clues, reference email account and the last revision date. The ability to peruse all of this data at once also facilitates the establishment of unique logon data sets, thus avoiding duplication. And yes, the file is password protected.”

Carrow defends his “low tech” approach to password management. “…it is simple and secure, there is no system to learn, nothing to purchase and it is inaccessible to hackers on the cloud. Even though cars have new high tech accident avoidance systems, anti-lock brakes and SRS airbags, the low tech seat belt is still the most effective safety feature. Sometimes simple is better.” (http://www.stopspreadsheeterrors.com)

David J Dunworth, Founder of BlueStone Networks LLC, devised quite the imaginative system for password management. It even allows him to manage his passwords from the grave. He chose a word that had nothing to do with him. A simple word. He then found a simple word that reminds him of that word. This simple word is used on sites with no financial data, address, phone number and so on. Dunworth then changed that word with capital letters and symbols strategically placed for other sites, clubs, etc.

Jumbled words

He further changed that same word and symbol combination with extensions of additional words and symbols. He then identified one letter or symbol to represent each variation of the password, and keeps a simple one or two digit code listing near his desk. He files a complete list of the code and what it stands for in his “after I’m gone” secret file that only one family member knows of. He describes his process in detail:


According to Dunworth, “There is sufficient differentiation between each of the passwords, and the code is progressive as you utilize them.” His process is “a take on the old OICU812, only using symbols to replace letters that you can remember. Extensions of OICU812 are OICU8124me, OICU8122day,OICU812UC.

Brian Pancoast, President of The Pancoast Concern (http://mrktpros.com/), prefers an old-school way of password management as well. He laments how, while managing three companies, he had issues with upgrading his password keeper alongside the new technology of the day. At first, it was palm pilot, then a Blackberry. When he tried to export/import his passwords, it was incompatible. When he got a Droid, he had the same problems. When he upgraded to the iPhone, he decided to go old school.

“After watching the movie ‘Ghost’ I figured if a little black book was good for Patrick Swayze its good for me. I have had no compatibility issues since.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Justin O'Connell is the founder of financial technology focused CryptographicAsset.com. Justin organized the launch of the largest Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider in the world at the historical Hotel del Coronado in southern California. His works appear in the U.S.'s third largest weekly, the San Diego Reader, VICE and elsewhere.