Are Secure Password Managers Safe?
Like most things in life the answer to this question is,” it depends.” The majority of cyber-security specialists agree that password managers are the most secure way to protect your passwords, but not all are created equal.
Unsurprisingly, commercial password managers are considerably safer than most of the free ones. The latter are often released without rigorous testing and have even been known to include malware. Some commercial password managers include a free version, which allows you to evaluate them, albeit with reduced features.
A good password manager will use military-grade encryption with zero-knowledge architecture. What does that mean? In simple terms there is no way to decipher your password data even if a hacker managed to break into it. Even the provider doesn’t have a key to unlock your data
Isn’t a Free Password Manager Better Value?
Commercial password managers offer additional features which usually increases the security they can wrap around your data. Free versions will offer limited functionality and options, which could reduce your protection.
Some free password managers don’t support biometric data, such as fingerprint or face ID, which means you will have to use your master password each time you use it.
Many free services don’t have the option to audit your passwords; which may hinder your ability to check older passwords for the correct level of complexity that is now considered an acceptable baseline
A commercial password manager constantly checks the dark web to discover if any of your account credentials are in circulation – usually for sale. It’s unlikely that a free password manager will offer dark web scanning.
Keeper is probably the most secure password manager available; using zero-knowledge infrastructure (data is encrypted on your device, not one Keeper’s servers) and powerful 256-bit encryption. It also offers its own multi factor authentication – Keeper DNA, as well as biometrics, and third-party authenticators such as Google and Microsoft authenticators, RSA SecurID, Duo Security, and YubiKey.
Other powerful features include Breach Watch which scans the dark web to check if your passwords have been stolen; Security Audit which checks your passwords strength and recommends appropriate changes for any weak ones, and KeeperChat, a secure file sharing and messaging system with self-destructing messages.
Keeper can also import passwords from Dashlane, 1Password, ZOHO, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, and Internet Explorer
So, should you use a password manager?
Yes, you absolutely should. Avoid having to memorise passwords or write them down. A good password manager can even generate and change passwords for you. Use a password manager to share and manage your credential data with colleagues without exposing them in an email or messaging app. Protect your password manager with multi authentication and a good malware app, and you will have a genuinely secure platform to protect your business.
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