Regardless of age or work status, we’ve all become acquainted with the concept of passwords. Whether for an email account or your social media page, passwords are an important defense and prove essential in maintaining security and privacy.
With so many accounts and just one brain to memorize all the passwords, we usually set one password and use it for all accounts. Though it’s a common practice, it increases the chances of your accounts being vulnerable to hackers. All they need is one combination, and they’ve got the keys to all your locks. This is where password managers come into play.
So, without further ado, let us get straight to the topic.
So, what is a Password Manager?
A password manager is like a key master. It’s a software application that securely stores all your online credentials and saves you the trouble of remembering them. This allows the use of strong, unique passwords for all your accounts and their automatic retrieval whenever necessary.
Why do you need a Password Manager anyway?
Now arises the question of why use one anyway? No one likes the prospect of their privacy being breached. Since the manager creates encrypted passwords and secures them in a vault, it means a dual or triple layer of security. It’s not just for personal use; several big firms and businesses also use it to protect their important files online and ensure secure file transfers.
Due to security being vital, it’s equally important to guarantee that you’re using the right password manager. Here is a helpful comparison of password managers to make your decision all the simpler and warrant that you’re trusting the right application with your personal or official data.
What features should you consider in a Password Manager?
There are several password-managing software out there, and each is unique. However, when choosing one, there are seven factors that you should always take into account.
People don’t always have a single device. It’s usually a combination of phones, laptops, and computers. Hence, they use their accounts on multiple devices, and all of these need not necessarily have the same operating system. Your phone might have Android or iOS, and your laptop or PC might have Windows or Mac OS.
When choosing a password manager, examine whether the application has multi-platform support that can automatically sync across devices. You don’t want to be dependent on just one device.
2. Password Generation
One main reason for choosing a password manager is to have unique passwords for different accounts. What the software does is: generate a random combination of numbers, alphabet, and special characters to make a strong password. Ensure that the manager you’re going for allows you to tailor the strength of the generated password.
It should be using either a CSPRNG (cryptographically secure pseudo-random number generator) or a TRNG (true random number generator).
3. Password Sharing
If you’re heading a business unit and have to share passwords with your team, or if you wish to share some credentials with your family, your chosen password manager should allow you to do so easily. It should have options that allow you to add multiple users to your account and modify the access level.
If it has multi-factor authentication here, all the better. Alternatively, it should have options that allow you to grant or reserve access to user profiles. This way, you can choose to regulate access to a certain platform without having to reveal the password, and that too, with limited people of your choice.
4. Security Breach Alerts
If multiple people use the password manager, you should be able to keep track of their usage patterns. Your password manager should have a feature that gives you a custom report about granted permissions and recent, frequent logins, along with dates and times, accompanied by the resources each person used.
Additionally, if there’s any irregular activity, you should be notified with breach alerts to keep you informed.
Accessing the usage patterns allows you to prevent potential threats before they end up harming your firm in any possible way.
5. Secure Export and Recovery Options
In case you wish to export your passwords, there should be a secure way to execute the export. You might have different reasons for wanting to do that: switching between different password managers or just creating a local backup.
You have to have a password for the password manager itself.
Also, remember to opt for a password manager with good recovery options. Make sure you know how these options work, so you aren’t helpless when the need arises.
It is one of the most important features when getting a password manager for your individual or company.
6. Usability and other friendly features
It’s less emphasized, but having a user-friendly interface is very important. Some factors to consider are as follows:
- Does it auto-fill? It’s essential for saving time and also prevents having it saved in the clipboard if you need to copy-paste. Your password manager should also automatically save newly created passwords on its own without being prompted.
- Does it come with built-in storage? At times, you not only need to protect your passwords but also accompanying files that might be highly confidential. It’s ideal to have a place that can store them securely. What better option than your already encrypted password manager?
- Can it group information? This feature allows the manager to save your details, making filling out long, tiring forms easier.
The bottom line
No application is one-size-fits-all. It may take you some time to figure out the right one for you, but it’s important to be aware of the odds. You don’t want to invest your money in software that won’t favor you in the long run.
Now that you know the purpose of password managers and the importance of their features buy the plan that best fits the requirements that you or your firm might have to keep your data safe.