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6 Best Password Managers for the Trades (Electricians, Plumbers, HVAC, Contracters)

2024-05-27T16:17:00.000Z12 min read

Business

Trade companies like electricians, plumbers, and HVAC wizards, have a unique password problem. You juggle a dozen different software programs – scheduling, accounting, customer portals, industry-specific tools – each with its own login.

Your field techs need a secure way to access necessary websites and apps while out and about. Your secretary needs certain login credentials and your accountants others. But neither should be able to see everything. 

Why the trades need a password manager

Let's be honest, with so many logins flying around, sharing them across teams can seem tempting. The secretary needs access to the scheduling software, the field tech needs both scheduling and maybe inventory management. But here's the thing: shared logins are security kryptonite. If one account gets hacked, everything connected to it is exposed. Not cool.

You may have a few tech ninjas on your team, but for others, training them on secure password practices and the importance of unique logins can feel like teaching a T-Rex to code.

There's a solution that solves all these problems and keeps your data safe: password managers.

Password Managers: Your Digital Bodyguards

Think of a password manager as a high-tech vault for all your logins. It encrypts them with layers upon layers of security, making them unreadable to anyone but you (and whoever has your master password, but we'll get to that in a sec). Plus, it remembers all those logins for you, so no more scribbling passwords on sticky notes or trying to remember what your dog's birthday was in 2007 (because you definitely used that for a login once).

Benefits of Password Managers for Trade Businesses:

  • Slay the Login Monster: Stop juggling a million passwords. Your manager remembers them all, securely.
  • Unique Logins for Every Account: Each employee access the password manager with their own unique login, and their activity can be tracked by the admin so you know exactly who is accessing what password and when.
  • Tech-Savvy Made Easy: Even your least tech-savvy employee can use a password manager with ease.
  • Mobile Workforce Ready: Access logins securely from any device, anywhere. Perfect for those on-the-go field techs.
  • Peace of Mind: Sleep soundly knowing your data is safe from hackers and breaches.

Choosing the Right Password Manager

There are a bunch of password managers out there, all vying for your business. Here's what to look for:

  • Ease of Use: It shouldn't feel like you need a Ph.D. in cryptography to figure it out.
  • Security Features: Military-grade AES 256-bit encryption is the standard. Don't settle for anything less.
  • Team Features: Look for a plan that allows you to add and manage multiple users easily, and share different groups of passwords to different people. 
  • Mobile Compatibility: Your field techs need access on the go. Make sure it works on phones and tablets.
  • Customer Support: Just in case you get stuck, having reliable customer support is a lifesaver.

Master Password: The Key to Your Digital Kingdom

Now, let's talk about the master password. This is the key that unlocks your password vault. Make it long, complex, and something you won't forget (but not something obvious like your birthday or your dog's name). You can let your password generator generate one for you, or create a strong passphrase for something more memorable.

Don't reuse this password anywhere else! It's the crown jewel of your digital security.

Bonus Security Tips:

  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second verification code (usually from your phone) when logging in.
  • Beware of Phishing Scams: Don't click on suspicious links or enter passwords on unverified websites. Hackers love to trick people into giving up their logins.
  • Use a Secure Browser: Keep your browser up-to-date and consider security-focused options with built-in phishing protection.

Top 6 Password Managers for Trade Businesses

1. Dashlane: User-Friendly Security 

Dashlane Homepage.webp

Dashlane stands out as a strong contender for trade businesses thanks to its user-friendly approach and robust security features.  Let's break down its pros and cons in more detail to see if it's the right fit for your crew:

Pros:

  • Security: With dark-web monitoring and the standard military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, Dashlane provides the security you need in a password manager. Additionally, Dashlane employs a strict zero-knowledge architecture, meaning they don't store your master password or any unencrypted data on their servers. This adds an extra layer of security, as even if hackers were to breach Dashlane, they wouldn't be able to access your passwords.
  • Mobile Marvels: Dashlane's mobile apps offer secure and convenient access to logins on the go, perfect for your field technicians who are constantly on the move. The autofill feature makes logging into apps and websites a breeze, saving your techs valuable time and frustration.
  • Optional VPN: While not essential, Dashlane offers an optional VPN add-on. This is a great option for businesses that have employees working on public Wi-Fi networks, which can be vulnerable to eavesdropping. A VPN encrypts your internet traffic, making it difficult for someone to steal your data on a public network, like in a man-in-the-middle attack.

Cons:

  • Price Point: Dashlane can be a bit pricier than some of its competitors. While it offers a free plan with very limited features, businesses with multiple employees will need to upgrade to a paid plan.
  • Interface: Some users have found Dashlane too complicated in its presentation. 

The Verdict:

Dashlane is an excellent choice for trade businesses that prioritize user-friendliness and top-notch security.  While the pricing might be slightly higher than some competitors, the robust features and mobile functionality make it a worthwhile investment.  If you have a team that's comfortable with technology and needs a more budget-friendly option, you might consider exploring other options on this list. But for businesses that value ease of use and bulletproof security, Dashlane is a strong contender.

2. 1Password: Security Fortress with Family Ties

1Password Homepage.webp

1Password is a powerhouse when it comes to security, offering features that will put your mind at ease. Let's see if it's the right fit for your crew:

Pros:

  • Impregnable Security: 1Password boasts top-of-the-line security features, including military-grade encryption and a zero-knowledge architecture. They also offer a unique "Watchtower" feature that scans the dark web for breaches containing your email address, helping you stay ahead of potential security threats. Each account also has a unique security key that an attacker would need in addition to the master password.
  • Travel Mode for Peace of Mind: This innovative feature allows you to temporarily remove sensitive login information from your devices before traveling. This can be especially useful for field techs who might be visiting client locations and want an extra layer of security for their data.
  • Family Plans for Blended Needs: 1Password offers family plans, which can be a good fit for businesses where some employees might use the same password manager for personal and work accounts. This allows for easy separation and management of work and personal passwords within the same app.

Cons:

  • Feature Overload?: 1Password offers a vast array of features, which can be overwhelming for some users. For businesses with less tech-savvy employees, a simpler interface might be preferable.
  • Price Point: Similar to Dashlane, 1Password can be a bit pricier than some competitors. However, they do offer a free trial, allowing you to test-drive the features before committing.

The Verdict:

1Password is ideal for businesses that prioritize bulletproof security and innovative features like travel mode.  The family plan option can also be a plus for businesses with employees who manage both personal and work logins. However, if you have a team that's new to password managers or you're on a tighter budget, you might consider a simpler and more affordable option.

3. LastPass: Flexible, large

LastPass Homepage.webp

LastPass is the biggest password manager on the market. But after a series of security breaches which culminated in user vaults being stolen, most businesses are looking elsewhere. 

Pros:

  • Features and customizability: LastPass offers highly customizable policies, allowing fine-grained control of who can do what, and how.
  • Family Sharing Option: Similar to 1Password, LastPass offers family plans, catering to businesses where employees might use the same password manager for both work and personal accounts.

Cons:

  • Advanced features hidden behind "add-on" paywall: If you're in the market for Advanced SSO and MFA, you might find yourself paying one of the highest per-user costs among competitors.
  • Past Security Concerns: While LastPass has made strides in security, some users might still be wary due to past incidents.

The Verdict:

LastPass is a solid option for budget-conscious businesses, especially those who are new to password management. The free plan allows you to try it out before committing, and the family plan option caters to mixed-use scenarios. However, given the price, app reliability, and past security concerns, you might be better suited with another password manager on this list.

4. Bitwarden: Open-Source Security for Tech-Savvy Teams

Bitwarden homepage.webp

Bitwarden takes a unique approach to security by being open-source, which means that anyone can examine the validity of its code and security implementation. Let's see if its transparent approach is a good fit for your crew:

Pros:

  • Open-Source Transparency: Bitwarden's open-source nature means its code is publicly available for security experts to scrutinize. This can be a major selling point for businesses that prioritize transparency and want the comfort of knowing their password manager is built on secure foundations.
  • Budget-Friendly Options: Bitwarden offers a free plan with unlimited password storage for one user. They also have very affordable paid plans for businesses, making them a cost-effective choice.

Cons:

  • Less User-Friendly Interface: While functional, Bitwarden's interface might be less intuitive for non-technical users compared to some competitors. This could lead to a steeper learning curve for some employees.
  • Limited Customer Support: Bitwarden offers limited customer support compared to some other password managers on this list, asking you to rely on the forums, documentation, and email. This might be a concern for businesses that require more hand-holding during setup and troubleshooting.

The Verdict:

Bitwarden is a great choice for security-conscious businesses with tech-savvy employees. The open-source model offers a high degree of transparency, and the affordable pricing makes it a budget-friendly option.  However, if your team is new to password managers or requires more comprehensive customer support, you might be better suited with a more user-friendly option with robust customer service.

5. Keeper: Business-Oriented Features with Premium Support

Keeper Homepage.webp

Keeper goes beyond basic password management, offering features specifically designed for businesses.  Let's see if their business-centric approach aligns with your needs:

Pros:

  • Top-Tier Customer Support: Keeper boasts exceptional customer support, offering dedicated phone, chat, and email support. This can be invaluable for businesses that need help setting up the password manager or troubleshooting any issues their employees might encounter.
  • Business-Oriented Features: Keeper offers features like secure messaging and breach monitoring, which can be beneficial for businesses that handle sensitive data.
    Strong Security: Keeper utilizes military-grade encryption and a zero-knowledge architecture, ensuring your data remains secure.

Cons:

  • Costlier Than Some Competitors: Keeper can be more expensive than some other password manager options on this list. While the features are valuable, the pricing might not be ideal for all budgets.
  • Feature Overload for Smaller Businesses: The abundance of features might be overkill for smaller trade businesses that only need basic password management functionality.

The Verdict:

Keeper is a strong contender for larger trade businesses that require robust features, top-notch customer support, and secure communication capabilities.  However, the higher price point might not be ideal for smaller businesses or those just starting out with password management.

6. TeamPassword: Affordable Password Sharing for Collaborative Teams

TeamPassword homepage new.webp

If you need an affordable way to organize and share passwords, TeamPasswords is your best bet. 

TeamPassword offers mobile apps for iOS and Android (yes, it'll work on the iPad), and extensions for your browsers to make auto-filling easy. 

For example, you can have a Field Tech group shared with the appropriate people. Some of the passwords in that group will also be shared with Accounting, but not all of them. Minimum necessary access, see? 

TeamPassword has live US-based customer support with every plan. Reachable by chat, phone, and email, and sub-five-minute response times on average. 

TeamPassword doesn't skimp on security; after all, security is still the #1 reason you're getting a password manager.

  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Zero-knowledge infrastructure
  • Activity logs
  • Role-based access
  • Group management
  • Enforceable 2FA

Pros:

  • Easy-on-the-wallet: TeamPassword is a very affordable password manager for the functionality you get
  • Best-in-class customer support: Some of the highest-rated, US-based customer support of competitors
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use: Straight-forward interface anyone can use

Cons:

  • Less customizable than other password managers on this list
  • Fewer available enterprise features than competition

The Verdict:

For trade businesses that need to share and segment credentials securely, TeamPassword is a fantastic solution. Their quick, personal support ensures that your employees won't be left hanging when they need help. TeamPassword offers a no-commitment 14-day FREE trial

Choosing the Right Password Manager for Your Trade Business

There's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to password managers. Consider these factors when making your decision:

  • Number of Employees: Do you need a plan that allows for multiple users?
  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend?
  • Technical Expertise: How comfortable are your employees with technology?
  • Features: What features are most important to you (e.g., mobile access, family plans, etc.)?

By implementing a password manager, you can transform your trade business from a password nightmare into a security fortress. No more shared logins, no more forgotten passwords, no more security vulnerabilities.

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