The Best Way for Small Businesses to Manage Passwords
If you’re looking for a laugh, do a web search for “password meme.” Go ahead. We’ll wait.
Our favorite is the one where a user is warned multiple times that their password is incorrect, but when they try to change it, the message says their new password can’t be the same as their old password. It’s funny because it’s true.
Passwords are an integral, and often frustrating, part of how we lead our lives and run our businesses. Logging into an account with a password is the first step in checking our email, paying our bills, managing our finances, accessing our health records, shopping online, connecting on social media, streaming our favorite shows and movies, and much more. The reason we have passwords is to protect valuable personal and company information stored in those accounts. And the sad reality is that there are bad actors out there who make a living out of trying to access that information. That’s why finding the best way to manage passwords for your small business is critical.
Some small businesses swear by storing company passwords on paper. While it is not the safest way to manage passwords, it’s better than doing nothing. You could simply memorize all of them, but that’s probably not the best way to manage passwords either, and you are likely to fall victim to the situation in our favorite meme. Fortunately, there are many more sophisticated tools to help you save and protect company passwords.
Browser Password Managers
Many of the most popular browsers used today offer built-in functions to serve as your company password manager. Most of them can generate the password for you. It is an easy, fast, free, and convenient way to store your passwords. Regardless of the browser you use, you can set it to automatically log you into your account when you visit a site, and you can even sync your passwords across devices – provided you use the same browser. But be sure to set up a master password or PIN number to ensure only you can access your accounts.
Password Manager Applications
Many companies choose to introduce new technology, like the various apps on the market that serve as a password manager for their small business. Password manager applications allow you to store multiple passwords in encrypted form, which you then access with a master password or PIN. They offer more customization and security than your browser. Most will flag for you if you use the same password too many times. Some offer free options, but many come at a cost. Like any application, they are at risk for glitches. Finding the right application to serve as the password vault for your business takes time and research to find the one that offers the features you need at the right price. Some can sync your passwords across devices, while others store them locally. Some have no connectivity to the web. The most popular password managers for small business include:
- Sticky Password
More Tips for the Best Way to Manage Passwords
- Avoid using the same passwords on business and personal accounts. It increases your risk in the event of a breach.
- Change your passwords regularly and make sure the change is significant. Don’t just swap out a few characters.
- Never send passwords via email. Find a more secure way to send passwords, like using encryption software.
- Enable two-factor authentication when possible.
Hackers get more and more creative every day in the ways they try to breach your security, using phishing, malware, and even social engineering to trick a user into providing their password. Utilizing a password manager for your small business reduces the risk of identity theft, account hacking, and financial loss. A strong password management program creates a powerful protective barrier between your data and cybercriminals. To learn more about how Paradigm’s small business password management services can help you protect your company’s sensitive data, please contact us today.