Updated on January 30, 2023.
A password manager is a tool that provides users and businesses with the ability to track, store, protect, share and manage login credentials for applications and online services.
Password management solutions are crucial to keeping users safe and secure online. As cybercriminals increasingly infiltrate networks, it is important that businesses and individuals take the necessary steps to ensure their accounts are secure. According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, 82% of breaches involve the human element – with the majority due to stolen or weak passwords.
How Do Password Managers Work?
Password managers such as Keeper, store passwords in a secure, cloud-based digital vault. This allows users to access their login information from anywhere, using any device. Users can access their password vaults through the password manager’s web application or by downloading the desktop app, browser extension or mobile app.
The master password is the only password users must memorize since it gives users access to their secure digital vault. The digital vault allows users to add, edit and manage private information such as passwords and files.
Why Use a Password Manager?
As people shift their work, shopping, education and leisure activities to online versus in-person, many continue engaging in poor password habits, such as reusing passwords across different accounts. A password manager eliminates these bad password practices.
Here are a few other reasons why you should use a password manager.
No need to memorize passwords on your own
It’s extremely difficult to remember multiple passwords, which is why so many people resort to poor password habits. According to Keeper’s 2022 US Password Practices Report, 56% of respondents use the same password across multiple accounts.
Password managers have a password generator function which automatically creates strong, unique passwords and saves them in the user’s secure digital vault. Users are no longer required to memorize their passwords, and the generated passwords are nearly impossible for cybercriminals to guess.
Increased protection against phishing and identity theft
Many people fall victim to phishing sites and emails. Phishing is when an attacker sends a fake message to trick a person into revealing private information or unknowingly downloading malware onto their machine.
Password management software can prevent users from falling prey to phishing schemes. When a user visits a website for which they have previously created an account and stored the credentials in their password vault, the password manager will display an icon in the login field. This icon indicates the user has stored account information for the website in their password vault. Conversely, if a user clicks on a link in a phishing email and is directed to a scam site, the password manager does not recognize the URL, and the icon does not appear. This is a red flag for the user, indicating that they are not visiting the site they thought they were.
Share sensitive information securely
Under certain circumstances, you may need to share access to an account. However, poor password management can cause confusion and result in locked or suspended accounts.
A password manager tool ensures that employees and individuals can share account credentials easily and securely, without having to memorize the shared passwords, write them down, or send them using risky methods such as email or text message.
Not using a password manager puts your passwords and accounts at risk of being breached by cybercriminals. For example, if a device is infected with keylogging malware, cyberattackers can record all of the passwords that user types. Because password managers autofill user login information, there is no key pattern to be recorded.
With a password manager, you’re not only protected from the most common cyberattacks, but your online security becomes seamless. Without a password manager, your life is harder because you have to memorize all of your unique passwords on your own, which usually results in people reusing the same ones. These dangerous practices are a trap that many will fall into simply because they don’t have the right cybersecurity tool. A password manager aids you in following password best practices.
What to Look for in a Password Manager
Password managers help prevent data breaches and accompanying financial losses. However, with so many options on the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when evaluating password managers. Let’s break down some of the key features to look for.
Customization and flexibility
Is the password manager most suitable for an individual user, a small business or a large enterprise? Consider which features you need. Good password managers offer different packages tailored to individual users, families and businesses of all sizes.
Personal and family plans: Ideal for individual users and families who are looking for extra online protection.
Business and enterprise plans: Designed for companies that require accounts for individual employees, plus an admin console, where IT administrators can enable and disable accounts, monitor employee password use, run reports and perform other administrative functions.
The features and benefits of password managers can vary widely between vendors. While some features are included in the basic package, others are typically add-ons that incur an additional cost. Common add-ons include:
Dark web monitoring: Notifies users if their account credentials have been found on the dark web.
Secure messaging: Hyper-secure messaging that eliminates the risks associated with data leakage and unencrypted communications.
Concierge service: 24/7 expert customer service and support.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) support
For an extra level of security, ensure that the password manager supports multi-factor authentication. When MFA is enabled, users are granted access to a website or application only after successfully providing two or more pieces of evidence to prove that they are who they claim to be. For example, in addition to providing a password, the user may be required to:
- Provide a security code from an email, text message or app
- Answer security questions
- Pass a fingerprint or facial recognition scan
Benefits of Using Keeper as Your Password Manager
Keeper Security’s password manager enables individuals, families and organizations of all sizes to store, generate and manage their passwords for applications and online services. Keeper Password Manager prevents data breaches, ransomware and other password-related attacks by creating high-strength, random passwords for each website, application and service, and storing them in an encrypted digital vault.
From generating strong passwords to dark web monitoring, Keeper offers a variety of solutions for both individual users and businesses.
Protection from the dark web
BreachWatch®, Keeper’s dark web monitoring tool, scans users’ Keeper Vaults for passwords that have been exposed on the dark web. If it finds a match, BreachWatch will immediately notify the user to change the compromised password.
One-Time Share is a feature that allows Keeper users to securely share records with anyone on a time-limited basis and the recipient does not have to be a Keeper user. It’s the most easy and secure way to send confidential information to family, friends or work colleagues without exposing sensitive information through email or text messaging.
Easy and secure messaging chat
KeeperChat® is a hyper-secure messaging solution that eliminates the risks associated with unencrypted messaging. Those working in industries such as healthcare, law, government, finance or any other fields that require strict confidentiality can benefit from KeeperChat and so can individuals looking for extra security.
Keep Yourself Safe with Keeper Security
Keeper offers a variety of packages to fit the needs of anyone and every organization. With features and add-ons including KeeperChat, One-Time Share, BreachWatch, KeeperFill and more, rest assured that passwords and sensitive information are securely stored.
See which password manager is right for you and start a free personal trial or business trial today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are password managers safe to use?
Yes, password managers are safe, effective security tools that greatly decrease the risk of data breaches, ransomware and other password-related cyberattacks.
According to research conducted by Security.org, roughly one-third of Americans had their identity or online credentials stolen in the past year – and only 10% were using a password manager at the time.
How to use a password manager
Depending on the password manager, the setup process may vary. However, most providers use a process similar to the one below:
- Visit the vendor’s website for links to install the browser extension, desktop app or mobile app.
- Create an account and a strong master password.
- Once logged in, explore the password vault and familiarize yourself with its settings and functions.
- Export and import your existing passwords from wherever you previously saved them, such as from another password manager or your browser extension.
- When prompted to change existing passwords or create new ones, always store them in your vault.
What happens if I forget my master password?
If you forget your master password, you may get locked out of your account. Depending on your password manager, there could be the option to reset your account. However, this may not be possible for all password management tools, since the purpose of having a master password is to ensure that it is a single password that is only known to the primary user. This level of security is meant to prevent others from getting access to a user’s vault.
If you get locked out of your vault, expect to reset all of your online passwords. This is why it is vital that once you create your master password, you remember to add a hint that is ambiguous to others, but helpful enough for you to understand.