Passwords remain a necessary evil. Necessary because almost every web site you want to use wants you to create an account and log in. Evil because anyone that gets your password can login to the site as you.
The problem is that a password must be easy for you to remember, but hard for someone else to guess or crack. Is Roboform the answer?
Managing Passwords is a Pain
There are programs dedicated to trying to guess your password. Avoiding words in the dictionary, common names, and sequential numbers or numbers tacked onto the end of those words will do a lot to make your password more secure. It also makes your password harder to remember.
Once you have a hard to guess, but easy to remember password, you’re not done. You should use a different password on each site. Why? If you use the same password on multiple web sites, then if someone gets your password from any of those sites, they can log in as you anywhere you’ve used that password.
You may not care if someone gets your password to a simple web app you tried one time two years ago, but if you use that same password at your bank, for PayPal, or for Facebook it might be a disaster. It’s not just small web sites thrown together quickly that have their password stolen, but large companies like Valve and Sony.
The solution? A password manager will remember and store the login information for all your websites. It allows you to quickly create random passwords for each site and then recall those credentials when you next need to log in. You use a single strong password to protect all of these passwords. Here we’ll look at the popular password manager RoboForm.
RoboForm offers two versions of their password manager. RoboForm Desktop works best for the user who only needs to access their passwords on that one computer or doesn’t trust storing their data in the cloud. RoboForm Everywhere allows you to access your passwords on multiple computers along with your phone, tablet, and other devices.
RoboForm Everywhere automatically syncs your password data between your devices so a new login created on your laptop will be available on your desktop or phone later. It also creates a backup of all your data. The data is stored online with AES 256 encryption derived from the master password you select and all transfer is protected using SSL encryption.
You first download the application from the RoboForm web site. RoboForm can integrate with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera by default. You can also choose to also save data for forms in Windows Applications. You will next need to choose if you want to use the software as RoboForm Everywhere or RoboForm Desktop.
As part of the installation you will be asked to choose a master password. This should be a hard to guess or hack password and will protect all the other passwords stored in RoboForm. Take time to make this a very good password, but also ensure you can remember it. Your data is secured using this password and if you forget it, you cannot recover or recover your password data.
For the RoboForm Everywhere install, you will also need to enter a RoboForm Everywhere password. This will protect your cloud stored password data and allows you to sync the passwords between multiple devices. You must remember the master password, but can store the RoboForm Everywhere password in RoboForm itself.
Once the install completes, you will see a new toolbar in your browser. You can control and access all the features of RoboForm from this toolbar.
RoboForm will automatically ask you to save any passwords you enter on standard web forms. After you login to any web site, you will be asked if you want to save the password.
A suggested name based on the domain of the site will be provided though you can change this name now or later. If you click the Save button, the information that you entered on the form will be stored in RoboForm and protected using your master password.
When you return to a website that you’ve stored credentials for, the Roboform toolbar will show that you’ve stored credentials for this site. You can then click and RoboForm will automatically enter the stored credentials and optionally go ahead and submit the form.
Whenever you create an account for a new web site, RoboForm can create a random password for you. The randomness makes these new passwords hard to guess. In addition having a unique random password for each site you access means that if one password is hacked, the hackers cannot access your other web accounts.
Normally a random password would be hard to guess, but RoboForm will remember it for you as you only need to remember our master password.
To meet the requirements of the site that you’re creating a login account for, RoboForm gives you a number of options. You can select the length of the password, exclude similar characters from the generated password which gets rid of characters that look similar such as the number 1 and a lowercase l, or choose only hexadecimal values.
For more general password selection you can select if the created password contains uppercase letters, lowercase letters, digits, and special characters such as punctuation. The more types of characters included in your password, the more secure it will be, but many sites have restrictions on what characters allowed in the password. Finally if digits are includes, you can select the minimum number of digits included in the password.
The strength of the created password will be shown at the bottom. You will generally want to create the strongest password that the site’s rules allow.
Filling Out Forms
In addition to saving passwords, you can also store more general and often used data for forms. The form identities can allow you to store data such as an address for quick entry later. On a form looking for this data, you simply click the identity and let RoboForm enter it all.
A single license to use RoboForm Desktop on one computer costs $29.95. A one year subscription to RoboForm Everywhere costs $19.95, but the first year is available for only $9.95.
The Everywhere subscription lets you install the program on as many devices as you own, where you must buy a separate desktop license for each device you want to use it on.
Hacking has become big business and they want your accounts. Using unique and hard to guess passwords will go a long way to protect your identity and data.
For most users with multiple computers and other devices like phones or tablets RoboForm Everywhere will provide the best option. While some may be concerned about having their data in the cloud, the data will be encrypted and using a strong master password will keep it safe.
However you use it, RoboForm will give you a safe and secure way to protect your logins and help ensure only you access your accounts.