If your business uses a lot of Internet services, and you don’t have a password manager, you’re probably entering your login credentials much more than you need to be. It slows things down a little, or if you forget a password, it can slow things down a lot.
Password managers are exactly what they sound like. They manage your passwords so you don’t have to. When it’s time to enter a password, they provide you just what you need. It’s like taking the locks off all the doors and having easy access to every room. But such a metaphor also brings to mind security issues. All your passwords in one place? That doesn’t sound secure.
One great password manager, Dashlane, keeps all your information encrypted with the world’s leading standard encryption, AES-256 encryption, and the key that encrypts your data is derived from your master password. No trace of your key stays on Dashlane’s servers, or is transmitted on the internet, or remains on your device. Only you can decrypt your data. Even Dashlane can’t touch it.
So the first password manager you should consider is definitely Dashlane. It’s free, has a form filler, and will automatically alert you if any of the websites you use have been breached.Their premium service allows you to back up your information to the cloud and sync passwords across several devices for $20 a year.
Zoho Vault is another great option. It shares a lot of Dashlane’s security features, but it’s built for teams. Businesses can use Zoho Vault to securely share passwords among trusted members of their organization, and different access privileges can be assigned to different users. Sharing can be enabled or revoked in real time just by a single click. Zoho Vault, unlike Dashlane, does not have a form filler. It’s $1 per user per month, or free for a single user.
LastPass pretty much has it all. The security features, the syncing, the cloud backups, and the form filler. It allows you to send passwords to friends and colleagues securely. And it’s free. Totally free. The premium version gives you the ability to access your passwords from your mobile devices, and removes ads. Our own Miguel Leiva-Gomez said of LastPass, “The only problem is that you don’t have control over the encryption process.”
Miguel’s preference was for SmartSignin. In a comparison of LastPass and SmartSignin, Miguel said, “In the user-friendliness department, SmartSignin wins… LastPass has some really cool features, but they’re very confusing and lead to a load of trouble for someone who’s just looking for something with a smaller learning curve. If you want all the bells and whistles, though, LastPass is your best bet. If you want something you can just use right out of the box, go for SmartSignin … I highly suggest using SmartSignin for a full enterprise environment, as it has a more secure platform that’s easier for your employees to learn.” SmartSignin has a free option, and paid plans between $2 for a single user per month, and $6 per user per month.
When it comes to the security of your passwords, the best practices have been summed up pretty well by this XKCD comic. Four random common words are harder to crack than the uppercase, lowercase, symbol, number password. Add a few extra kickers, like a number here and there, and you’ve got a pretty great password.
Do you use a password manager? Let us know which one in the comments below!