Having a password manager is better than not having a password manager. While this phrase is totally true, much like everything else in life, not all password managers are created equal. There are certain attributes to each type of password manager that need to be looked at and considered when deciding which direction to go in.
The goal at the end of the day across any platform for any and all password managers is to keep your passwords safe and secure so your accounts are not easily hacked and your information stays safe and confidential.
Unfortunately, for some programs, this is easier said than done.
What is a Password Manager
The number one rule of thumb with passwords is to never use the same password across different sites. It is easy to come up with one seemingly strong password and then duplicate it on everything that is password protected. But you should never do that. This is online security 101. Every site should have its own unique and individual password.
Like most people, this means coming up with many different passwords, and more importantly, remembering them all. Back in the day, you would use a little notepad you tucked in your purse that contained all of your passwords so you had access to them if the need would arise to log in. That is not only a non-secure practice, but also not necessary with password managers.
A password manager is a place that stores all of your account passwords and other secure information. It is protected by one single master password. This means in order to get access to all of your password and login information, you are only responsible to remember one password.
There are many programs and free online password managers out there.
Browser Password Managers
One of the most common password managers in use today are browser password managers. The internet browser you are working on acts as a password manager and stores the passwords on your device. While this is better than nothing, browser password managers should not be used and regarded as the safest way to protect your passwords.
These password managers don’t require enrollment or downloads, they are simply the dialog box that pops up that asks if you would like this website to remember your login information. Chances are, you are using this service on at least one website without even realizing that’s what it is.
Browsers were not designed to be password managers, it is simply just an add on to their existing functions. Because of this, they are not as secure as other password managers and they are easily accessed, mostly accidentally. Once you have the main password to your operating system and you enter the internet, your passwords are automatically there. Anyone using your computer now has access to everything with little to no effort.
It can be tempting to just use the browser password manager as they are convenient, but that is all they are.
Selecting a Strong Password Manager
There is a password manager out there for every budget, so it is really up to you to select the password manager you feel most comfortable with and what features are most important to you.
A good, quality password manager goes beyond just keeping all of your logins safe and secure. The best password managers also monitor places like the dark web to make sure your information is not already circulating out there. If they do find something, you will receive an alert to immediately change your password and try to stop hackers from accessing anything else.
They also alert you and help guide you when your passwords are not strong enough. Using two-factor authentication is a must and your password manager can help enable and store that information along with your password information.
Not Just for Personal Use
When we think of password managers, most people envision their personal bank accounts and other important website that we use that are in danger of being hacked. One often overlooked aspect is using a password manager for your business needs.
While we don’t like to think it’s possible, one poor password on an employee’s computer can take down a whole company’s security. Business password managers like the one offered by Keeper Security keeps your whole company safe.
One large data breach can bring down an entire company, cost millions of dollars in correcting the breach and also lose the confidence of your customers. Losing that confidence is the equivalent to losing even more money as they will likely take their business elsewhere.
In today’s constantly changing business environment, that’s not a risk most places can take. Utilizing a good and efficient password manager can be the difference between a financial and public relations nightmare, and a simple work week that ends at 5 on Friday.