Remembering all the passwords in your life might seem like a lot of effort but they exist for a reason.
To help encourage better password etiquette Microsoft has taken the bold step of banning 'easy' passwords on all of its accounts.
So what classes as an easy password? Well Microsoft has been carefully monitoring the most common passwords along with the most vulnerable and has created a blacklist.
If you then enter one of those passwords Microsoft will refuse it and then give some advice on how to enter a more secure one.
Here's Microsoft's official advice on how to create a strong password:
- Don’t use a password that is the same or similar to one you use on any other website. A cybercriminal who can break into that website can steal your password from it and use it to steal your Microsoft account.
- Don’t use a single word (e.g. “princess”) or a commonly-used phrase (e.g. “Iloveyou”).
- Do make your password hard to guess even by those who know a lot about you (such as the names and birthdays of your friends and family, your favorite bands, and phrases you like to use).
is the 'Swiss army knife' of the group. It'll run on almost anything. It's also one of the easiest to use as well thanks to an ultra-simple interface. Rather than using autofill, 1Password uses extensions in Chrome, Firefox and Safari which gives you quick and easy access to your vault on any of your computers. The iPhone app uses Touch ID. This is a great all-rounder for the single user who just wants a complete solution.
$49.99 (Single license)
is the team player out of the three options here. Offering a similar user interface to 1Password, Dashlane is simple to use and powerful to boot. If you run a small business or even a big business however then this could be the service for you. With variable sharing options you can send passwords to colleagues that also have Dashlane while keeping the password secure even from them. All they have to do is accept, and the app will log them in to the service without them ever having to see the login credentials. It'll work on iOS, Android, Mac and Windows.
$39.99 per year.
LastPass may be last on the list but it's definitely not the least. This is the veteran password manager and as such has the most features. It'll run on every platform and through every site, it's also customisable to a professional degree with support for biometrics and almost any other authenticating technology you can think of. It may be a little more complex to use but once it's set up LastPass is arguably the most flexible in terms of creating a service that you want.
Price: $12 per year