These days it seems that you can’t do anything online without having a password. With hackers targeting more small businesses, it's important for you to manage your passwords effectively because you’re just one hack away from having your business potentially ruined.
One strategy you can use is to utilize a secure password manager to help you manage and protect your passwords at your business. While most password managers do cost money, they also typically offer free versions as well that will cover at least one device.
Here are five tips for handling password management at your startup
Have A Secure Place To Store All Of Your Accounts
You must have a secure location for you to keep all of your accounts so that the business controls your login information rather than just one individual. Many businesses will use an open source spreadsheet that anyone can access.
A password manager, however, will be a superior choice for storing all of your passwords and login information because it will keep everything together in one vault, and then update all of your employees’ devices automatically should a password be changed.
Keep Your Passwords Long
One of the most commonly given pieces of advice in regard to password security is to make your passwords as complex as possible. That’s not bad advice, though a better piece of advice would be to make sure your passwords are long.
Most passwords are only ten characters in length or less, but ideally, your passwords should be fifteen characters or longer. In fact, having a longer password in all lower case letters would actually be preferable to having a much shorter password comprised of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
Don’t Put Your Special Characters Together
If you do decide to include special characters in your password, you would be ill-advised to keep all of them together. Keep your letters, symbols, and numbers all separated and spread out across the password.
A commonly used tactic is for people to put the capital letters in the beginning of their passwords, and then to put numbers and symbols towards the end. This is a poor tactic to utilize, because it means the password will be much easier to figure out and adding the special characters at the end may actually be completely worthless.
Don’t Forget Any Fake Accounts You May Have
Many startup businesses will be reliant on staff usernames and passwords, but they will also utilize face accounts that they use for demos, testing, or filling in forms numerous times under multiple accounts.
When managing your passwords, you must make sure that you don’t forget about the passwords and login information for any fake accounts that you may have. Yet again, a password management tool can help you here because they will come with an auto-fill function that will drastically save you on time.
Set a Schedule to Change Passwords
Last but not least, we are told to change our passwords often as a simple security method, and on paper that may actually seem like the smart thing to do. But in reality, changing your passwords repeatedly is actually not the smartest thing to do.
In fact, changing your passwords once a month isn’t even the best course of action to take, and you shouldn’t force your employees to change their passwords often either.
When setting up the password policies for your business, you would be much better off setting up a long password using the strategies that were just discussed above, rather than requiring your employees to change their passwords each week or month. This discourages schemes your employees may use such as only changing the number at the end of their existing password.
Remember that each account you use for your business must have secure login details. Think of it as the same thing as adding locks to your doors.
Investing in a password management tool may be one of the very best early investments that you make for your startup business, because you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your important files and information are being kept secure.
Read more about keeping your company secure from hackers at TechCo