Love them or loath them, passwords are the key to the front door of your business. And a strong password is the best way to keep that door securely locked.
To do this properly, a password manager is a must.
A password manager does more than save you from the hassle of remembering numerous passwords or the dubious practice of keeping passwords written on a piece of paper next to the computer. A password manager can also create very strong passwords for all your password-protected accounts and stores them in a secure database.
If you want to do better than 123456 or 000000 as a password (yes, people really do use these), then a password manager is your best bet for keeping your business as secure as possible.
At The Computer Professor, we are strong advocates for password managers but we know not everyone is convinced. Here are 5 common questions we’re often asked about password managers.
What is a Password Manager?
A Password Manager is a software application that stores and manages passwords for all your password-protected accounts. Rather than entering a separate password for each account, the password manager encrypts your password database with a master password. You only have to remember one password.
Most password managers can also do a few extra things like storing credit card information or address details.
Is it safe to use a Password Manager?
Yes, it is safe to use a password manager. Let’s face it, anything is safer than keeping a password written down near your computer. By encrypting your passwords, the password manager ensures you have the strongest possible password for each site. A password manager also ensures that passwords don’t leak. Leaking happens when you use the same password for multiple accounts; in this case if one account is breached the rest can be accessed.
What if I am using multiple devices or networks?
There are a number of options for password managers. LastPass and KeePass are currently two of the best offerings on the market. Both have the ability to work across multiple devices. LastPass has a basic free version, and a paid version that allows for synced use across multiple devices. If you are using KeePass, you can store your database in a cloud storage solution like OneDrive or Dropbox so that it is accessible from anywhere, on any device.
What’s wrong with creating my own passwords?
Without a password manager, there may be a temptation to use common and predictable passwords (who hasn’t used the name of their dog and street number as a password in the past?). A strong password is one that involves a range of numbers, symbols, and letters in upper case and lower case. While these types of passwords are effective, they are very difficult to remember. If you have a difficult password, you may be tempted to write it down – which will, of course, defeat the purpose of keeping access secure. A password manager ensures you have strong passwords without having to remember them.
What if I lose the password to my Passport Manager?
While losing the master password is certainly not ideal, you can work around it. In most cases, you will be required to reset all of the accounts that the password manager was managing.