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Security

Manage your passwords for free with Norton Identity Safe

Norton's password manager doesn't hit you with a subscription fee, yet it syncs all your stuff between desktop, Web and mobile apps. Plus: a remastered classic game on sale!

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Norton Identity Safe's desktop client offers a clean, simple interface. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

As I've said many times before, a password manager is an absolutely essential tool. That's why I routinely share deals on products like LastPass and RoboForm Everywhere.

Although many of them offer freebie versions, those are usually limited to a desktop client, with no syncing with the Web or mobile apps. And, trust me, syncing is something you really want. I can't tell you how often I end up needing a password or other personal info when I'm out and about.

Symantec

Typically you have to pay $20 to $40 per year for the privilege, but there's an often-overlooked gem that will cost you nothing: Norton Identity Safe. Though once part of Norton's paid security-suite offerings, this password manager is now a standalone product -- and a free one at that.

Norton Identity Safe consists of a desktop client (Windows only -- sorry, Mac folks), a Web-based vault and mobile apps for Android and iOS. As noted previously, all your data gets synced between whatever versions you care to use.

I'm not here to review the product, necessarily, merely to point out that it exists and offers much of the same kind of functionality as many a paid counterpart. It can manage not only log-ins and passwords for you, but also form data like billing and shipping addresses -- all of which you can insert as needed with automated ease. (Interestingly, the mobile apps can do this as well, provided you use Norton's integrated browser.)

There's also a Wallet section that can store your credit card and bank information and a Notes area for any private text you might want to keep.

One key feature that's inexplicably missing: a password generator. Norton does offer a Web-based option, but it's not integrated into Identity Safe. You'll have to copy and paste, which is a hassle.

But other than that, this is a pretty solid tool. And I can't help but admire the clean, simple interface employed by the Windows client. If you haven't yet adopted a password manager, well, you're crazy -- especially when there's a perfectly good freebie like this one.

If you've used Norton Identity Safe more extensively than I have (which is to say, for more than a couple hours), hit the comments and let your fellow Cheeps know what you think of it.

Bonus deal: Game time! Back in the early days of computer gaming, LucasArts was responsible for some of the all-time great adventure titles. Of course, they look pretty dated nowadays, but the core games are still great. And that's what makes this so awesome: For a limited time, Steam is offering Grim Fandango Remastered (PC/Mac/Linux) for $10.04. Regular price: $14.99. This uniquely flavored puzzler is regarded by many as one of the best adventure games ever made -- and this version features beautifully updated graphics. (While you're feeling nostalgic, check out Wings Remastered, the Amiga classic that recently made its way to Android and iOS.)