How do you come up with your passwords? Do you use your initials and birthdate? Do you add-on lots of weird characters? Do you accept the ‘suggested’ password offered to you? While most of us know to avoid reusing old passwords, picking obvious combinations, or writing down login credentials on sticky notes, some of us do these things anyway. Keeping track of all of your passwords across countless accounts is no easy feat, and it can seem impossible to follow all password security best practices in daily life. And actually remember which password you used for which site. Password managers are a valuable tool in the fight for greater security, and many end-users (and technical support professionals) can’t recommend them enough. You can use password managers for business or personal use and there are a variety of options on the market.
The Importance of Password Managers as Part of Your Technical Support Arsenal
Technical support professionals work to protect systems from a variety of malicious threats and incidental hazards, and password security is just one part of the equation. Still, using hard-to-guess passwords and storing them safely is a crucial practice for end-users everywhere, both in their personal and professional pursuits. Password managers are designed to generate, store, and secure login credentials for users. Like any other piece of tech, password managers come with a wide range of features. Choosing the right password manager for you (or your business) allows you to keep your accounts under lock and key, even if someone guesses one password or an account gets compromised.
Should You Pay for Another Technical Support Tool or Explore Free Options?
There are all kinds of free password managers out there, and some of them offer comparable services to those that run on a paid subscription model. However, because end-users tend to store login credentials for bank accounts, email accounts, and other sensitive applications, things like encryption and secure password storage are vital. While some free browser-based options (like those offered through Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) can certainly get the job done, premium password managers often give users more features and greater peace of mind.
Password Managers to Consider
Every program has its strengths, and every household and business demands something unique from its password manager. Here are some options to consider:
- LastPass: LastPass has been a frontrunner among password managers for years, and their free and premium versions offer secure password storage, password strength reports, and two-factor authentication for individuals and businesses alike. It’s worth mentioning that LastPass has made some adjustments to their free version, and some features like 1GB file storage, emergency access, and mobile device compatibility are only available with LastPass Premium.
- Dashlane: Like LastPass, Dashlane offers both free and premium versions of its services. Although Dashlane is significantly more expensive than LastPass and other similar password managers, it also includes VPN protection and a variety of advanced features.
- Browser-based password managers: If you’re in need of a password manager but don’t want to add another technical support tool to your list of monthly subscriptions, you may want to consider dabbling with the browser-based password managers available on Firefox and Google Chrome. While these programs are less comprehensive, they provide users with a practical introduction to password managers — besides, the price can’t be beat!
Finding the right solution for your secure password management is key. Explore the different options and ask trusted friends or colleagues what they use and recommend. You can say good-bye to your scrap notes with credentials written down. This tool will become a handy resource so you can safely remember passwords to all your various accounts.
Need Technical Support? Choose Howard Tech Advisors, a Thrive Company
The team at Howard Tech Advisors is committed to providing managed services and customized IT solutions to our clients in Howard County, Baltimore, Columbia, and Ellicott City, and we’ve recently joined forces with Thrive. We specialize in managed IT services for small and midsize businesses, particularly those near our office in Elkridge, Maryland. To learn more about our business and our work in the community, contact us at (410) 997-2500 or visit our website. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on our service offerings and tech tips.