If you’re reading this, you’re logged in. Hopefully you didn’t have any trouble accessing your account, but if you did you probably clicked the “Forgot Password” link. Many of us live by that link because, really, who can remember ALL their passwords? According to Digital Guardian, the average email address is associated with 130 online accounts. Although many of those accounts are probably inactive, most people have far too many logins to create and remember unique and secure passwords for each of them. Thank goodness for Forgot Password, eh?
Fortunately, there is a better option than constantly sending yourself reminders or reset links: password managers. These apps allow you to generate, store, and authenticate your passwords on your computer or mobile devices. Most companies have a low monthly fee and similar features.
Obviously, the best feature of a password manager is that it saves the login email or user name and password for all your accounts. We use Zoho Vault, which has a browser extension that places an icon in your toolbar for easy access to your list of accounts. It takes some time to enter all your accounts with URL, user name and passwords, but it doesn’t have to all be done at once. When you’re logged into your manager, you can set it up to ask if you want it to remember a login each time you access or set up an account.
For small businesses or families, a great feature of a password manager is your ability to share with other users. For example, Abby and I both access our banking accounts, website server, social media, and more for CIA. In our situation, we both have access to edit or remove a password, but we also give “view only” rights to our social media manager for only those social accounts. For families, you could give children access only to those accounts you want them to see. An audit report shows you who’s been using the manager and which passwords they’ve viewed.
If you want to add an extra layer of security on your manager (rather than just the login), you can set up two-factor authentication, which can be a text notification, touch-ID, a voice call, Google Authenticator, or other options.
Password Assessment Reports
With a password manager you can prioritize strength over convenience, so you don’t have to keep using your dog’s name and kid’s birthday over and over. A password assessment report will tell you how strong each password is, and keep track of the last time you changed it. If you don’t want to get creative, you can have the system generate a new password for you.
You don’t use a password manager just to look up your passwords. You can use them to access your accounts. With just one click you just to the URL and your username and password are automatically filled in.
Here are the most popular and affordable password managers with small business pricing. Many of these also have free plans with limited features.