Why you should be using password software
Hands up if you’ve been guilty of using the same password across multiple softwares? Guilty.
Using your partner’s, dog’s, or children’s names as your password?
Used 123456 as a password? You and 23 million others.
Why is password management software important?
The average person has upwards of 100 passwords, so we can excuse ourselves for sometimes using something easy to remember, or the same password across a couple of accounts for expediency.
But a secure password is the easiest way to protect yourself from online fraud. A hacker can crack an easy password in seconds using an automated tool, but a strong password can take up to 400 years to break.
Experts recommend that your passwords have at least 11 characters, including numbers and special characters. Length being the key component of a strong password rather than complexity. The harder it is for you to remember, the harder it is for a hacker to crack it. But, remembering 100 secure 11 character passwords is beyond a bore. We all know the pain of trying and failing to login to an account and having to reset your password. Every. Single. Time. You visit that site.
Enter password management software.
What are the benefits of a password manager tool?
80% of people don’t use password software, but it can be your best defence against fraud, as well as saving you time and energy as you essentially try to hack into your own accounts.
Your management tool can create long, complex passwords for you, remember them and autofill login fields, so you no longer have to remember them, or store them on a Post-it! And if you change a password, and enter it into your tool, all your devices will be synchronised, so no need to manually update everywhere.
It can also let you know if and where you’re using the same password across multiple accounts, and prompt you to change them for different and more secure ones. This will help prevent “password stuffing” where a hacker will use a password of yours that they have already cracked and apply it to other popular sites in the hope of breaching them too.
Your password manager app can help prevent phishing attacks too. If you’re sent an email by a scammer pretending to be a trusted service that asks you to click a link in order to steal your credentials, your password manager won’t automatically enter your logins as it will only work for the specific, real sites.
Not only will your password manager store your logins, but it can also store other sensitive information such as bank details so you have them recorded securely for reference. And it will let you know if any of your logins have been compromised in a security breach, nudging you to change them.
Last but not least! Depending on your plan, you can share your passwords securely with a trusted partner, like your Virtual Assistant to access business accounts safely.
Is a password management tool safe?
Storing all your passwords in one place might sound risky, but the likelihood of a password manager being compromised is extremely low, whereas the risk of your email being hacked is surprisingly high.
Your details are kept safe by being encrypted, your plain text passwords are never stored. They are only accessible via your master password, which is a secure, long, complex credential usually of more than 20 characters which your manager tool will provide.
What are the costs of password software?
There are often free versions available of your chosen manager application, but most come in under the $40 USD per annum mark.
The main “cost” is in the set up. It can be time consuming to enter your 100 or so passwords, having to reset the forgotten or duplicated ones. But think of the savings of time resetting passwords you can’t recall, not to mention the inconvenience and cost of being defrauded.
What about Apple Keychain or Google Password Manager?
Both of these are free password managers and of course are better than nothing! But they lack the features of a “full service” management tool. You also can’t easily use your passwords across devices and are only secure if your device isn’t shared.
Both are better than nothing, but they also have the drawback of not being able to share passwords with team members or, of course, your Virtual Assistant.
How can I improve the security of my passwords?
Hopefully by now you know the answer to this is: use a password management tool!
But you can make your accounts even more secure by making your management software master password as impenetrable as possible and setting up 2 step authentications across all your accounts where it’s possible.
Your email is your most important password. If a hacker can access your email, they can potentially steal your bank details, send emails pretending to be you, and worst of all, get control of all your other accounts by resetting your passwords!
Which password manager should you use?
Excuse us, we’re off to update our email passwords!
If you’re looking for more tips for your business, check out our Blog. And if you could use some help with your business, be it admin or copywriting, contact Caroline and she can match you with the VA of your dreams.