The standard internet user will access several websites and applications on any given day. Each one of these different accounts will highlight the importance of not repeating passwords, and many even require a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. The trouble with this, however, is that if we were to have a unique password for each online account that meets the complexity requirements, we would be clicking the ‘Forgot Password’ button on each login. This is where a password manager can ensure the security of your accounts with a very minimal impact on your memory.
What is a password manager?
At its most basic level, a password manager is an application or a browser plug-in that stores all of your usernames and passwords. Many of these apps will have an auto-fill feature, meaning you won’t even have to click or copy/paste your login information. Most of these password managers will also run a security check on your existing passwords, checking for duplicates and similarly keyed passwords.
What really puts these password managers on the map, however, is their ability to automatically generate a random and complex password for each account. Often a 20-character mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, these randomly generated passwords meet PCMag’s password recommendations. If you have an Apple product, you are likely familiar with the feature ‘Keychain,’ which is itself a password manager, albeit limited to Apple products you are signed into with your AppleID.
What are the benefits of a password manager?
Other than the aforementioned security benefits of unique, complex passwords for all of your accounts, there are a few more benefits to consider. A majority of password managers will allow for syncing of login information across several devices. This means that your bank’s login information entered on your Windows PC can be accessed and utilized on your iPhone with minimal effort on your part.
Another boon to utilizing a password manager is that many will alert the user that they are about to enter their information on a fraudulent website. This could be a simple mistype of the URL that brings you to a similar-looking page, a mis-click on search results, or even a legitimate website that has been compromised. While not included in every password manager, there are also breach detection alerts available. This means that if your login information appears within a data breach, your password manager will alert you to this fact, and suggest a password update.
How does a password manager help my business?
We have thoroughly covered the benefits of a password manager for individual users and families, but an enterprise password manager can provide many of the same benefits to your business, as well as a few expanded features. Applications like Keeper provide administrative oversight for your organization in many ways.
Keeper provides an administrative console that allows your company to enforce security policies, maintain user logs, create teams with shared passwords, and establish/disable/remove users with a few simple clicks. Keeper also allows for the management of internal controls and industry regulations by providing visibility of employee password strength, credential sharing, and exposure to vulnerable locations such as the dark web.
Many enterprise password managers can also function as much more than just a password storage tool, with some allowing for secure file storage, zero-trust/zero-knowledge connections, as well as encrypted workplace messaging.