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Keeping your passwords safe is more important than ever

We recently sat down with a client to help him set up our client-only website, MySummitPlace.com. The client was excited to link all of his financial accounts and see his entire net worth in one place. So, after reviewing his invested portfolio, we began identifying online login information for his insurance, bank, and mortgage. The client knew the general information, but had to look up the last password. They knew they should change their passwords regularly, but admitted they sometimes forgot to update them where they kept their list of passwords: a small yellow notebook in a nearby desk drawer. We’ve seen this many times, thinking cleverly about passwords that can fail terribly because of yellow sticky notes, compromised email accounts, or text files sitting on a computer desktop. But there are great password management solutions out there these days!

You know it’s important to use strong, unique passwords across all your devices and accounts. Strong passwords use uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. If you’re creating them yourself, avoid using your (or your children’s or grandchildren’s) name, initials, date of birth, or any part of your social security number.

However, remembering all these passwords can be quite a challenge. The solution is a password manager! These apps protect all your passwords and login information in an encrypted database, requiring you to remember only one master password. At times like this, when you are required to change passwords on a regular basis, these apps are extremely helpful because they can also generate random strong passwords for you for each site.

Some to consider:

  • 1Password: www.agilebits.com/onepassword

1Password was one of the first great password managers. The software is on your computer as well as all your other mobile devices. For a low monthly fee, it will automatically sync passwords and logins with each other. There is also a family plan to share with others. This is useful for sharing with your immediate family and also for sharing with a trusted loved one, perhaps to make sure all important accounts are known and accessible. 1Password also has a wallet feature to securely store credit cards and other numbers you’d like to access paperless at home and on the go.

  • Roboform: http://www.roboform.com

Roboform also works on all your computers and mobile devices and offers a limited free version. For an annual fee, the premium version syncs all your devices, has a secure wallet/vault, and offers two-factor verification. Roboform also has a family subscription for safe sharing with family members

  • Dashlane: https://www.dashlane.com

Dashlane offers a free password manager that saves your current passwords, generates strong random passwords for any site, and also allows limited access to one emergency contact. The premium version will sync between your devices, share with others and backup your information automatically.

We are sure that there are even more options that you can find, and choosing among them depends mainly on your personal choice of features and ease of use. We hope you can use your summer to dive into a more secure approach to managing your password. Throw out the yellow sticky notes on the wall, the scribbled index cards in the back of a drawer, or the folded piece of paper in your wallet! We take your financial cybersecurity more seriously than ever and look forward to helping you do the same.

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