How to Securely Store Passwords

How to Securely Store Passwords

Securely storing passwords is made easy by using a password manager. A password manager allows you to store all your passwords in one place, while only having to remember one password to secure all your accounts. 

Securing Passwords Safely

A password manager is a tool that gives both personal and business users the ability to track, store, protect, share and manage passwords within a secure, cloud-based digital vault. Users can access their digital vaults through the password manager’s web application or by downloading a desktop app, browser extension or mobile app. 

With a password manager, it’s easy to generate and store strong, unique passwords for all log ins – ensuring you’re not using the same password multiple times. If your password manager offers a browser extension, you can autofill usernames and passwords on login screens and automatically log in.

Step-by-Step Process to Securing Your Passwords

Follow these steps to securely store your passwords: 

Step 1: Research password managers 

When looking for a password manager, prospective users should consider which features they need. Good password managers offer different packages that are tailored to individual users, families, and businesses of all sizes. Personal and family plans are best for individual users and families. Business and enterprise plans are designed for companies that require accounts for individual employees as well as integrations with other platforms such as Single Sign-On (SSO) or Active Directory. Business and enterprise plans also come with the ability for IT administrators to monitor employee password strength, run reports and perform other administrative functions.

Depending on the vendor, password managers come with different features and benefits. Although most features are included with the basic package, there are other features that are typically add-ons. Some common add-ons include:

Dark web monitoring: Notifies users when their credentials have been found on the dark web.

Secure messaging: Encrypted messaging that significantly reduces the risk of having important data leaked.

As an extra level of security, when looking for a password manager, ensure that the password manager supports multi-factor authentication (MFA). With MFA enabled, users will only be granted access to a website or application after successfully providing two or more pieces of evidence authenticating who they are. Additionally, you’ll want to look for a password manager that maintains current SOC 2 or ISO 27001 audits – preferably both. 

Now that you know what types of password managers to look for, researching it has probably led you to Keeper. From generating strong passwords to dark web scanning, Keeper offers a variety of solutions for individuals, families, businesses and enterprises with zero-knowledge encryption. Keeper also maintains both current SOC 2 and ISO 27001 audits. 

Step 2: Download a password manager

Once you’ve decided which password manager is right for you based on the package and features you’re looking for, you can begin downloading your password manager. You do this by visiting the vendor’s website for links to download the browser extension, desktop app or mobile app.

Step 3: Create an account and strong password

With a password manager downloaded, the one password you must memorize is your master password which gives you access to your digital vault. Your digital vault allows you to add, edit and manage private information such as passwords and files.

Step 4: Start using your password manager with Secure File Storage

Using a password manager will allow you to securely store, manage and access all of your passwords in a single digital vault that you can access from anywhere. If your subscription offers Dark Web monitoring, you’ll be instantly alerted if any of your credentials have been part of a data breach and were found on the Dark Web, allowing you to take the steps necessary to secure your account before it’s too late.

Keeper’s password manager makes it easy to sync all your passwords into a digital vault. Plus, Keeper will let you know which passwords are at risk due to repetitive use and helps you to generate a new password that is strong and unique. 

The majority of cloud storage companies store files in plain, unencrypted text, making it possible for cybercriminals to view any user files if the service is compromised. All uploaded files are individually encrypted by Keeper’s Secure File Storage to make sure that only the user can access and decrypt their saved data.

Why is Secure File Storage Necessary?

Secure File Storage is important because it allows you to securely store all your important files and documents in one place. Here are a few reasons why it’s recommended you include it with your password manager subscription:

Easy Access Secure file storage allows you access to your important files from anywhere on any device. 

Back-Up Protection Having physical copies of every important file or document you own is necessary in some cases, but it’s always best to back up your information in case it ever gets lost, stolen or damaged. This is where cloud-based secure file storage becomes necessary. You’ll always have access to the documents you need no matter what happens to them physically.

Secure File Sharing Keeper enables secure, vault-to-vault sharing with other Keeper users, with PKI encryption to ensure that only the intended recipients can decrypt shared files.

Why Using a Browser’s Password Manager is Not Secure

Most web browsers offer a limited password manager on their browsers. Although using a browser manager to secure your passwords seems like the easiest way to save all your passwords in one place, browser password managers are limited in how far they can go to protect you and your passwords, and how you’re able to access them on different devices. 

Browser password managers are far from secure. If your browser becomes compromised, your entire password vault could be at risk. Since browser-based password managers are contained within your browser, they are not considered encrypted vaults. Browsers can be easily accessed by cybercriminals meaning your financial, personal and other sensitive information and identity could be compromised in a breach.

A password manager’s sole focus is securely storing your passwords and files. For example, Keeper is a zero knowledge and zero trust password manager, which means anything stored in the vault is only accessible by you, the end-user. Not even Keeper can access your passwords.

While browser-based managers seem like the easier option to help you store your passwords, it’s not the secure way to do it. Take control of your password management and learn how to disable the built-in password manager in your browser.

Benefits of Utilizing Secure File Storage

Utilizing secure file storage is seamless and easy. Here are a few benefits. 

Centralize and secure all of your important documents

Not being able to locate an important document when you need it – whether it’s the deed to your home or your company’s insurance policy paperwork – can be disastrous. Keeper’s Secure File Storage is your digital safety deposit box, a secure place to store critical paperwork so that you can immediately access it when you need it. You can use it to store insurance and loan paperwork, vaccination and other healthcare records, deeds and titles, bank account statements and more.

Protect images & videos

Protect your irreplaceable personal and family photographs and home videos documenting unique memories. Storing backups of images and videos in Keeper ensures that your priceless memories stay with your family for generations to come.

Businesses also need secure storage for organizational assets such as blueprints, advertising materials, product prototypes and designs, company logos and graphics, employee ID photos and employee training videos.

Store digital certificates & SSH keys

Many organizations rely on digital certificates and keys to access critical systems. If cybercriminals were to get hold of these certificates or keys, the organization could be put at risk of a cyberattack. 

Types of certificates that can be stored in Keeper include:

  • SSL Certificates
  • SSH Keys
  • RSA Key Pairs
  • Code Signing Certificates
  • API Keys

In addition to saving digital certificates and SSH keys in Keeper as a custom field or note, organizations can also use Secure File Storage to upload them as a file attachment.

Securely share digital assets

Keeper Secure File Storage enables efficient, secure, vault-to-vault sharing of stored files with other Keeper users. Similar to when you store passwords in Keeper, users can set sharing permissions for digital files (read-only, can edit, can share, or can edit and share).

Keeper Secure File Storage uses PBKDF2 to derive authentication keys based on the user’s Master Password, then generates individual record-level AES-256 encryption keys locally on the device to encrypt each stored file. Keeper’s cloud-only holds the encrypted ciphertext of each file. Sharing between users is performed using PKI to ensure that only the recipient of a shared file can decrypt it. Keeper’s zero-knowledge encryption methods ensure that only the user can access and decrypt their stored files.

Protect Yourself With a Password Manager

Users and businesses can track, save, protect, share and manage passwords for online services and apps using password managers. A password manager allows for one-click logins and lets you manage your passwords without having to memorize them. For full protection, your password manager should include file storage.

Secure File Storage allows you to secure all your important documents, files and passwords into one single digital vault. A vault that you can access from anywhere at any time. When looking for Secure File Storage, it’s important to make sure that you’re using software that utilizes zero-knowledge encryption. This lets you know that only you can access and decrypt your stored files. 

Keeper’s Secure File Storage is available for individuals, families, and businesses, and is one of our most popular add-on services. For any questions, check out our Secure File Storage user guide.

Not a Keeper customer yet? Sign up for a free 14-day trial now!

Aranza Trevino

Aranza Trevino is a contributing writer and works in marketing at Keeper Security. She is a senior at DePaul University in Chicago, majoring in marketing with a concentration in digital marketing. Aranza has gained cybersecurity industry knowledge and continues to educate readers through her blog and social media efforts.