Here are several popular free or inexpensive online tools that can help manage and protect your online activities. They range from password management tools to security protection services.
A decade-old study by Microsoft estimates that the average person memorizes about six passwords and reuses them over and over. Today most people use dozens if not hundreds of online sites that require passwords. You put your security at risk if you are still using a few of the same old passwords.
There is another option. Password managers such as LastPass, Dashlane, 1Password and KeePass create and store unique encrypted passwords made of random numbers and symbols for each site you use. You only have to memorize one long password to use these apps, plus use a two-factor authentication app on your phone. Most of these password managers offer a free or inexpensive service to new users.
A free service created by a web security expert, HaveIBeenPwned.com, allows you to enter your email address to check whether it has been compromised by hackers. Many major companies have been hacked over the years, and the site checks whether your login information is among the stolen data. If your email is on the hacked list, simply reset your password for that company’s site.
There’s nothing worse than buying something expensive and then coming across the same item at a discount in another store. If only you’d known about the sale, you could have saved a bundle of money. Barcode scanner apps like ShopSavvy, BuyVia and Quick Scan allow you to scan an item before you purchase it to check whether you can get a better price somewhere else.
There are a variety of free online task management tools that serve as to-do lists, appointment calendars, collaboration tools and reminder services. Some examples include Wunderlist, Evernote, Todoist and Trello. From the palm of your hand, these apps allow you to access a shopping list your spouse made, get a reminder of a dental appointment, or make note of an interesting book to read. Many of the apps are also “gamified” — meaning they make a game out of being productive by awarding points and achievement badges.
Consider checking out these services to see if they work for you. Just make sure you feel comfortable that the personal information you provide is worth the service you receive in return.