This is probably the most important thing a business can do.
More and more businesses are now using web based tools to run their business. Tools such as XERO which is an online accounting system. Other tools like Dropbox is a online file storage tool. These are collectively called cloud computing tools and you are what we call “operating your business in the cloud”.
When I set up email, website or social media accounts for my clients I do my best to ensure the passwords are secure.
What does a secure password look like?
a. Use a combination of numbers and letters. This can all be in lower case but must be at least 10 characters. It should not spell a word.
Here are some examples
thu300814d – this is actually todays date with an extra letter at the end. It is not the best example but you could make this more secure by adding symbols like * # @. And do not use any birthdays of anyone close to you.
d9kc6s83mf – this is very random and a good password. To increase the security level of this you could add another 2 characters so there are 12. The more the better.
How do I remember these strange passwords?
Yes I know a lot of you are saying but I will never remember a password like that.
Well there are tools to help with this that I highly recommend.
You can create a password that is the first letter of a saying or short statement. For example “My Nan loved to cook cupcakes and put sprinkle things on top.”
So the password for this could be mnltcapstot But change some of the letters to numbers that match the letters like on your mobile phone. So here is the new version m6lt3ap7o8
Now this password is something that looks very random, has no meaning at all and is hence much more secure.
The way you remember it is by using the statement.
Password Vault programs
There are a large range of free and paid password vault programs. I have been using a tool like this since early 2000’s and what is great you only have to remember one password.
I regularly do research on these programs to ensure I have the best available. My last research was earlier this year and I switched to a new tool called Dashlane.
Here are a few articles for you to read to get you started on this journey as it is best not to take only my advice. You need to find a tool that suits your needs as there are many.
This PC Mag article is very good
What I do recommend is that you go with a cloud based tool and pay for a service. That way you can access your passwords from any device.
I pay $40 pr year for Dashlane and it is worth every cent and comes with many features.
Having any of your online accounts hacked could definitely affect your bottom line.
Imagine if you were not able to send emails or someone hacked into your bank accounts and stole money. This is just 2 things that could happen and often because the password was very unsafe.
Passwords should be changed at least once a year especially for your most important online finance tools like your banking. It is also best to have different passwords for each online account. If a password gets hacked the hackers first step is to see if that password will give them access to your other accounts.
Taking the time to review how you manage your passwords is an investment in your business as it reduces your risk of being hacked.
This is where a vault program comes into its own and can save you time and money. The Dashlane tool I use once set up means that every time I go to a website that I have added in the login details for it automatically logs me in. I do not have to remember any passwords except the one to login to Dashlane.
Some of you might be a bit overwhelmed by all this but not sure where to start. Give me a call or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org as I am more than happy to help any business be more secure.