Password managers and why every business needs one
Password managers provide you with a safe and secure place to store your passwords and reduce the risk of your business data being breached.
by Claire Paravel, 25th October 2022
Keep up good cybersecurity habits
Getting into bad habits with passwords is easy, which is why having a password manager is so important. They make sure you use a strong and unique password for every website. This practice minimises the risk of a data breach. With cybercrime continuing to rise at an unprecedented rate, keeping your business data secure is more important than ever. You should never stop looking for new ways to increase your security and keep out cybercriminals.
What is a password manager?
Password managers keep track of the many passwords we use in everyday life. It’s easy to forget just how reliant we are on passwords and how frequently we use them. From unlocking our mobile phones to accessing online banking, passwords are the barriers that we put in place and trust to keep our sensitive personal and business information safe.
A password manager does, of course, manage passwords. But it also offers much more than this. Just consider for a moment how many systems, platforms, apps, websites and devices you log into on a daily basis. This helps to realise the need for creating, storing and accessing multiple passwords securely.
Why do I need a password manager?
According to a 2019 study by Google, as many as 65% of people reuse the same password for multiple or all accounts. When you consider just how difficult it is to think of a unique and strong password every single time you sign up for something new, it’s easy to see why people reuse passwords.
This is why you need a password manager. A password manager stores all of your online passwords for all the websites you visit in a single, secure place. Once your account is set up, your password manager will allow you to automatically log in to any websites that you visit. So don’t worry about having to remember each individual password! The only password you’ll have to remember is the master password to log into your password manager.
When you are signing up for an account on a website, password managers can automatically suggest a strong password for you to use. You can change the settings for what gets suggested – you can make it a minimum length, include characters or even make it slightly easier to read. If you accept the suggestion, it will save this password and the website it corresponds to into your password vault. This simplifies the whole process. It also takes away the stress of having to create and remember strong passwords every time you sign up for a new website.
Why you should never reuse passwords
We all know it’s important to have a strong password to protect our accounts and online data. Yet, when it comes to creating a password, many people fall into the trap of reusing an existing password. This is because we know we’ll remember it and we won’t have to go through the frustrating process of resetting it if we get it wrong.
Reusing passwords is extremely dangerous. If cybercriminals steal your data and gain access to just one password, they would be able to try that same password across other websites. So, if you’ve reused the same password across multiple accounts, you could be allowing cybercriminals to access all of your financial, personal and business data. In this scenario, it’s likely they’d be able to use the information from these accounts to find out your email address, usernames and other sensitive information as well.
What makes a strong password?
Passwords created by password generators are perfect examples of strong passwords. This is because they are:
- At least twelve characters long
- Contain a combination of numbers, letters (uppercase and lowercase), symbols
- Completely random
Even long passwords with numbers are considered weak if they are made up of complete words, e.g IceCreamCones99. Instead of using recognisable words, it’s better to create a string of unpredictable characters, like z1UIP*x30!4tyz.
What else can I do to prevent data breaches?
Unfortunately, even if you create strong, unique passwords for every one of your online accounts, this doesn’t make you completely immune to cyberattacks. To further increase your security, you should implement other measures such as two-factor authentication.
Two-factor authentication adds a second layer of security to the logging in process. It combines something you know (password) with something you own (mobile phone, tablet, or some other device). Once you have entered your password, a code will be generated and sent to your device. You simply need to enter the code from your device into the website to gain access. This means that even if cybercriminals have your password, they will fall at this hurdle.
You can also store your business or personal data in encrypted files. There are many reliable and free password managers such as LastPass and Google Password Manager that use encrypted files. This means that the password managers encrypt your files with a specific key. As you are the only keyholder, only you can access your files. This helps to prevent unauthorised parties from gaining access to your files. Just make sure you don’t reuse the master password for your password manager tool anywhere else!
The next steps to keep your business data secure
If you haven’t already set up two-factor authentication, then that’s your next step. Here at Plan IT Support, we can help you to introduce a number of advanced safety measures for your business. From password managers to two-factor authentication, encrypted files or even more, we’ll make sure your business has multiple layers of protection. To find out more about our services, feel free to contact us today and speak to a member of our team.