Password managers come in all shapes and sizes, from open-source software to private software and beyond. With a myriad of pricing options and features to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down which password manager is right for you. Whether you’re an individual looking to create better passwords and store them more securely, or a business looking to improve your overall cybersecurity, this guide is for you.
We’ll be taking a closer look at some of the best traits of the industry’s most efficient password management systems. When you’re looking for a business password manager, you need to look for these four features. These features make the product worth the cost, increase your overall protection, and offer a more advanced cybersecurity approach overall.
Let’s jump in and look at the traits to look for.
1. MFA or 2FA Features
When it comes to improving cybersecurity, one of the simplest and most effective approaches you can take, whether you’re a small business, large corporation, or basic internet user, is enabling MFA or 2FA for all logins. MFA stands for multi-factor authentication, and 2FA stands for two-factor authentication.
Multi-factor authentication: This authentication method requires multiple credentials to login into the system. In some cases, this can include a one-time code, TOTPs, biometrics, or using a third-party authentication app. The purpose of MFA is to provide extra layers of security to prevent unauthorized access.
A hacker can pretty easily acquire a password and use those login credentials to access a system. But, if you’re using MFA, they won’t be able to get in with the password alone.
Two-factor authentication: Two-factor authentication is basically the same as MFA, but requires only two credentials to get through. Many banking apps or other financial services have 2FA as a standard feature. You’ve probably used it before if you tried to login to your account from a new device or internet connection. This is usually a one-time code sent to an email or phone number, or, in some cases, a biometric method like fingerprinting. Many smartphones can utilize fingerprint authentication.
Good password managers have MFA and 2FA tools to further protect your passwords. This helps increase the security of the system as a whole and better protects your passwords in the vault.
2. TOTP Tools
Alongside MFA/2FA, the best password managers have either their own TOTP tools or can integrate with outside TOTP tools or authenticator apps (like Google authenticator). TOTP is a time-based one-time password. If you’ve ever used Google authenticator, you know exactly what this is—a unique passcode that expires every few minutes. This is an excellent cybersecurity tool that strengthens passwords and other credentials and provides an extra layer of security.
Password managers like Keeper provide TOTP integration, so you’re never without a backup option in case your passwords are compromised. The great thing about TOTP is that it also works offline, so even if you lose your connection, you can still access your login credentials.
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3. Password Generators
Password generators are some of the best features of password managers. Despite these tools existing outside of password managers on sites, password managers typically include built-in password generators which will automatically generate a unique, secure password based on your criteria. You can usually customize password length, alphanumeric combinations, and exclusions.
The password generator not only helps you create better passwords, but addresses one of the worst problems with passwords: recycling. Too many people recycle passwords across multiple accounts, which, by itself, is an incredibly dangerous practice. A single breached password could potentially expose all of your accounts!
Another great feature in the password generator is the automatic storage and form filler feature. When you generate a new password, it saves to a folder with your login credentials and the URL. When you go to log in to that account in the future, the password manager will automatically fill your credentials for easy logins.
4. Scalability and Upgrades
One of the best features you can ask for in a good password manager is scalability and upgrades. As time goes on, cybersecurity threats become more and more sophisticated, so you want your password manager to evolve, too. Some password generators even include analytics to monitor trends, password strength, and evolving threats. It’s important to choose a password manager that not only improves, but scales to meet the growing needs of your business.
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Password managers are some of the best and simplest cybersecurity tools on the market. These four traits make for great password managers and separates the competition. If your password manager doesn’t have these traits, it’s time to invest your money somewhere else!