Many people tend to use the same passwords for all their online accounts, and yet this may be one of the most dangerous mistakes they could make. It can be extremely important to have a unique and strong password for any online account, as this may be the first step you take to protecting your identity, your clients' identities and your business's reputation and data.
"The most important thing a small business can do to protect their online accounts is use a strong, unique password for every website," says Bill Carey, vice president of marketing for the RoboForm Password Manager.
Coming up with several unique passwords can be difficult, however. Is it really safe to have a lot of passwords you can't remember?
A password manager can help solve this problem.
This software works by storing login information for sites that you visit often. A password manager keeps all your passwords in a secure database, and all you likely need to do is sign up, transfer login information and create a single master password.
Why You Should Consider a Password Manager
If you've ever used your pet's name or birthday as a password, you should consider using a password manager. Hacking accounts with these passwords can be easy, especially if you're using these passwords on multiple websites.
If you're using the same password for your Facebook account, bank, credit card website and email, you may also be putting yourself in danger. If a hacker can figure out just one of them, they may easily be able to get into your other accounts. By using a password manager, you likely won't have to reuse passwords.
It may be true that cyber criminals will attempt to steal information no matter what, but you can possibly make this a lot harder for them by creating impenetrable passwords and using a password manager.
With a password manager, you may be able to:
- Create secure and safe passwords that no one but you can know or figure out
- Have only one password to remember
- Get easy access to all your accounts
Choosing a Good Password Manager
Using a password manager can be fairly straightforward. After logging all your information into the manager of your choice, you can navigate your favorite websites as usual. However, instead of typing in a manual password, you simply open the password manager, enter the master password and get access to the website.
Keep in mind that not all password managers are created equal. In fact, some can be downright terrible.
The most common password manager is the one built into your favorite browser. Though it can be convenient to click the "Remember Password" option, this may not be not the best way to secure your passwords. Though you don't have to enter a password every time, the personal information is still on your computer, and it can be easy for hackers to get this information.
Additionally, a browser-based manager may not generate a random password, so you will still have to create a password on your own.
Setting Up a Password Manager
It can be quite easy to set up a password manager. Typically all you have to do is sign up, install the software and enter your login information. However, it can be important to create an extremely strong password for your manager. You can make this one difficult to crack with symbols, letters, numbers and random capitalization, but on the upside, there's only one password for you to remember.
The password you use for your password manager may be the only thing standing between your personal information and cyber criminals. Make sure it's a good one.
For more tips on using social media for your business, access our exclusive guide, The Right Content, Right Now: Navigating Social Media for Business.
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A version of this article was originally published on January 21, 2015.