They play an ever important role in the digital era, connecting us to our online banking, shopping, social media and everything else we use on a daily basis. You can see why keeping them safe is so important.

Unfortunately, we can’t keep them in our pocket – and sometimes they go missing. That’s why a growing number of users are turning to password managers, both to keep their account information in order and adopt account safety best practices.

Here’s what you should look for in your password manager to know if it’s worth its weight in gold:

Password manager

There are a lot of different options for password managers out there, including:

  • Free password managers.
  • Paid password managers.
  • ‘Save Password’ tools found in browsers like Google Chrome.

It’s easy to go with the free options because, well who doesn’t like free stuff? But depending on what you’re looking for, the free options could be limited and could even put your account safety and information at risk.

Let’s take the ‘Save Password’ tool that many people use to login to their online banking or social media accounts. It’s more of a tool for convenience than security, letting users on their private computers save their passwords to make it easier to use the web. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox don’t necessarily build protection into these tools – meaning that anyone who has access to that Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browser can fairly easily gain access to those passwords.

Free password managers provide this security by storing passwords and account details safely in the cloud. What they can lack, however, is a number of features that make password managers so useful, like password generators and the ability to store payment information too.

Which brings us to paid password managers, like the one included in Norton 360’s solution. It stores and remembers your usernames, passwords, addresses and other important information so that you don’t have to. Furthermore, you’re able to access this information on your PC, Mac or mobile device – a feature that may not come with free versions and that makes life easier.

When you pay for a password manager, one of the key bonuses you get is unique features that come along with it. This includes the ability to import password information from old tools you used to store it, as well as set up secure automatic logins once you’re set up on it. Don’t overlook the Safety Dashboard either, which shows you the health of the passwords stored in your vault and helps you to improve your security posture.

Password generator

Better account security is a popular reason behind why password managers have become so popular. Password generators help amplify that benefit ten-fold.

Nearly 60 percent of people use the same password across all of their accounts, according to a LastPass report. It’s a big mistake from a cybersecurity perspective and a strategy you should avoid as much as possible.

While it might be easier for you to remember across all of your accounts, if it’s stolen then it’s also easier for cybercriminals to gain access to all of your most important accounts. With a built in password generator, which automatically creates strong, secure passwords and stores them in the password manager, you vastly improve the security of all your accounts.

Remember: not all stolen passwords come from viruses or malware. In some instances, companies suffer a data breach and cybercriminals sell those passwords. This could mean that you don’t even know your password is in the wrong hands.

Wouldn’t you want to make sure that cybercriminals could only get into one account, if they had the details for it?

Cross-platform and multi-browser support

Over the course of an hour you could move from your PC or Mac, to your smartphone, to your tablet as you relax on the couch in front of the tele. To put it simply, we’re always browsing the web and part of that means plugging in account details in multiple places.

Where certain password managers only work on one device, the password manager included in Norton 360 solution works across all devices. It syncs logins and other information across devices so users can access them from their computers, smartphones or tablet.

Digital wallet

While passwords are important, they’re not the only valuable detail that people enter on the internet. Online banking and shopping are popular activities, but they can also expose your information and leave you vulnerable to cybercrime.

Rather than having to reach for your wallet or purse each time you want to shop or check your account online, Norton 360 is able to store credit card details, bank account information and more, for a faster and more secure experience.

Along with financial information, it can also store shipping addresses, billing addresses and the other key details that free tools often handle too.

Notes and password changer

Lastly, in many cases people will keep valuable financial information and account details in unprotected documents or files. If malware or a virus reaches your device, this could put your information at risk of being exposed.

The password manager in Norton 360 has a notes section that lets you save and view useful notes and information, such as frequent flyer numbers, passport numbers and product keys. It’s backed by the same secure technology keeping your passwords away from prying eyes, giving you the assurance that your information has protection.

Should there be a breach, you can easily and quickly change passwords with the automatic password changer feature. It makes it easy to change passwords on many of the most popular sites by using a link from the Safety Dashboard.

Want to take your password security to the next level? Take a look at the password manager in Norton 360 today.