Logging into multiple accounts each day on the computer is so automatic in today’s world you may not realize just how many passwords you are using on a daily basis. People typically have dozens of financial, leisure, email and social media sites that they are required to sign into each time they visit the site. It’s very easy to rack up hundreds of passwords without even trying.
Having a strong password for the websites you sign into each day is very important to protect you from identity theft and other hacking. It’s similar to having a security system with a keypad on your home. Many people use easy passwords because they are easy for them to remember but this can make it even easier for hackers to get into these accounts and cause numerous problems.
Keeping track of multiple passwords and remembering which one you used for each site can quickly become a nightmare. This is why password managers have become so popular with business people and those who use the internet for pleasure.
A password manager is software that generates and stores your passwords for all your sites in a secure manner so you don’t forget them and so they can’t be stolen or hacked into. Not only does it provide convenience but it offers a level of security that will bring a lot of peace of mind and deter hackers and identity thieves.
Although all password managers do relatively the same thing, each one can offer different services and different protection levels. Knowing what these features do will help you choose the right one for your needs.
Password managers are perfect for managers and CEOs that work at large companies and dozens of passwords to keep track of, small business owners that already have tons of things to think about and keep track of, and everyday consumers that just have trouble remembering their passwords.
Top Rated Software Managers
Types of Password Managers
There are several different types of password manager software on the market. We have listed the 4 most common types along with some information about each so you can tell the difference between them. This will help you choose the right type for your needs.
- Standalone Password Managers – This is password manager software that is installed on your computer separately. The Wirecutter wrote a nice article on this here.
- Integrated Password Managers – This type of password manager is combined with other software. A good example of this is a web browser like Chrome that will ask if you want to save the password.
- Web-based Password Managers – Users will sign into a website that will access their stored passwords.
- Hardware-Embedded Password Managers – The way this type of password manager works is by a type of hardware or a special microchip where the passwords are saved. There is an identity authentication involved as well so you can retrieve the password.
There are several features that password manager software can offer their customers. Not all password managers will offer all of the features. Once you understand the types of features available you will have an easier time choosing the right one for your needs.
The list below is not an all-inclusive list. Many password manager software programs have tons of features that are designed to work well for business owners and professionals. A consumer just using a password manager for personal use may not need a password manager with tons of specialty features.
Encryption saves your information safely in the event the software is hacked into. This adds an additional level of security that makes it harder for information and identity thieves to access the passwords.
Allows users to restrict certain geographical from accessing the software such as other countries.
Multiple Encryption Layers
The majority of password managers require that you unlock the account information with a Master password. Multiple encryption layers add additional layers of encryption and security so hackers can’t just get a master password and have access to everything.
This requires an additional step when unlocking passwords such as inserting a flash drive or some other type of “key” as the second step.
this enables password information to have secure memory components to deter and prevent access to your private passwords.
this keeps the passwords stored on the user’s computer in an encrypted form. This replaces storing them in the cloud or with a 3rd party.
Local site certification
The password manager will search for the site certifications prior to entering any login information. This replaces having to use a third party.
Password managers that are complicated to use are not popular with consumers. Most try to be easy for the consumer to use so they can accomplish the goals they have by getting a password manager in the first place.
The purpose of a password manager is to keep your passwords safe so the site itself needs to be safe as well. Password managers that are either standalone or not part of a browser are the safest choices like our top rated choice KeePass. Make sure that choosing a secure password manager is the top of your priority list above features and all else.
Master Password Security
This can be compared to the front door on a home. If you have the key you can get inside and access the passwords. Password managers that offer multi-factor authentication ask for an additional step than just knowing the Master password which is another layer of protection.
Password managers can make life a lot easier for a company manager, CEO, or business owner that has a lot to remember as it is. The best safety you can provide for your information or accounts is to create a strong password for each account that is completely different. Having a different password for each account could be impossible to keep up with on your own.
This is where quality password manager software comes in. The ability to not have to look up or remember all the passwords you may need on a daily basis saves a lot of time and frustration. In addition to freeing up time and making life easier, password managers increase the security around your accounts as well.
Using a quality password manager like KeePass or something similar will enable you to create a unique password for every site you have to login to without creating a lot of extra work for the user. Installing a password manager and creating a brand new, unique and strong password for all of your accounts is a great way to add some protection to your accounts, your private information and your identity as well.
It doesn’t matter if you are just a consumer who loves to be online surfing, shopping and interacting with your friends or you are a small business owner that has a lot of business accounts that involve logins, a password manager is a valuable resource to use to protect you from identity theft or information hackers.