Password Managers Could Limit Identity Theft

Password Managers Could Limit Identity Theft

January 28, 2015         Written By John H. Oldshue

Password managers could be an answer to the growing fear of identity theft.

In general, consumers do a very poor job of creating secure passwords. Most people use a password that is a memorable word and possibly a number or symbol. Hackers have now created tools that can break most passwords and gain access to a site in a matter of seconds.

In early January, a hacking tool called Idict proved it could break into many iCloud accounts in less than five seconds. This type of hacking tool has every word in the dictionary stored, and it tries all those words with and without numbers millions of times in a matter of seconds. This is known as a “brute force attack.”

Apple has since added safeguards to prevent this type of attack, but most other sites have not.

To defeat hackers, you should have a different strong password on each site you use, and it should be changed often. Passwords should have random upper and lower case letters as well as at least one number and symbol. If they are truly secure, you will probably not be able to remember many random passwords.

That is why you need a password manager.

A password manager remembers all the passwords for you. It sits on your computer and has a master password. When you visit a site a second time, it works with your browser to remember your password and automatically logs you in. It becomes a significant time saver in addition to the solid security it provides when you start using random passwords.

The best policy is to let the password manager generate a new random password for you. But if you insist on creating your own password, the programs will tell you how strong your password is.

LastPass and Dashlane are two of the top password managers in a crowded field. The best news is they are free, so you don’t have any excuse for not starting to use one today.

LastPass and Dashlane are competitors but they are both excellent products. They are free, but if you want them to sync your passwords between devices, you will pay $12 a year at LastPass and $40 a year at Dashlane. The main difference is that Dashlane can change all your passwords and generate new random passwords for all your accounts with one click, a feature that may be worth the extra money.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 28, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for
View all posts by John H. Oldshue
Featured Limited/No Credit
Top Features : No annual fee; reports to major credit bureaus; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Fair Credit Card
Top Features : No annual fee; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Low Interest Card
Top Features : 1.25X miles on every purchase; no annual fee; bonus of 20,000 miles once $1,000 is spent in first 3 months
Featured Cash Back Card
Top Features : 1.5% cash back on all purchases; $150 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months
Featured No Annual Fee Card
Top Features : Earn cash back TWICE. 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
Featured Bad Credit Card
Top Features : Perfect credit not required; Reports to major credit bureaus