One way to improve your password security

There’s no shortage of advice out there about how to keep your online passwords secure: Never repeat passwords across accounts; use a mix of letters, numbers and symbols; don’t base it on personal information or anything easily guessed. But perhaps no single bit of advice is more important than this one: Invest in a good password manager.

I’ve long suggested that you use a password manager like Roboform or Lastpass to keep your hundreds of logins secure and distinct. But a relative newcomer, Dashlane, blows the competition away. In other words, this is the app you should be using to manage your passwords.

On the surface, Dashlane is a lot like other password managers -- which is, in fact, why I procrastinated for so long to try it out. It stores usernames and passwords, as well as identity information and payment info (like credit card numbers). But Dashlane’s magic is in its user experience. It elegantly pulls all of this data together and makes your life easier while simultaneously helping you be more secure online.

Many password managers have a somewhat industrial feel; my long-time personal choice, Roboform, for example, is great, but challenging to get comfortable with. Dashlane, in contrast, has a simple and friendly interface and automates almost everything. When you open a web page, Dashlane doesn’t simply offer to fill in the account info -- it automatically logs you in. And when filling in forms, friendly text flyouts let you choose among options like credit card numbers and personal information, so you never need to type anything again.

If you already use another app, you can import your existing passwords easily, so there’s no fear that you need to reenter dozens or hundreds of accounts by hand.

Dashlane is multiplatform and syncs automatically across multiple devices, so you always have all of your account and personal information stored on your PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad, and Android devices. Dashlane claims that not only is your data encrypted with AES-256, but the key isn’t stored anywhere – online or locally. Bottom line: Don’t forget your master password, because without it, all of your other passwords are irretrievable.

You can try the free version of Dashlane – which syncs your devices for a 30-day trial – but you’ll probably want to pay $30 for the annual subscription. It’s worth it.