One of the biggest problems faced by computer users is password management. Everyone knows they are important, but they are often treated as an inconvenience. Many people use weak passwords and reuse the same password for many online accounts.
No one would use the same key for everything and leave one lying around for anyone to pick up and use, but that’s what people do with passwords.
Everyone should use unique, long and complex passwords but often don’t. The price of weak passwords can be very high.
- Identity theft.
- Being locked out of your own account because a criminal changed your password
- Lost time sorting out compromised passwords
- IT time and cost.
- Criminals buying goods with your online accounts
- Theft of personal data, pictures and documents, causing embarrassment
The price of poor management is equally high
- Lost productivity because you have to reset forgotten reset passwords often.
- Not being able to access websites from different devices or when away from usual machines.
- Business data is taken to a competitor, causing a loss of business and reputation.
The solution is to use quality password management software with six main functions.
- Keeping existing login and passwords secure.
- Generating new unique complex passwords which you don’t have to remember
- Creating new passwords for new accounts which are unique and complex, and you don’t have to remember them
- Syncing login data between devices, including computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets
- Sharing passwords with trusted people.
- Storing other sensitive data like bank account details.
Setup password management
Buying and installing the software is the easy bit. Then you need to learn the product to get the most use out of it, and you need to get all your existing logins and passwords loaded. Depending on how you currently record them, that can be easy or much harder. If you have them in your memory or a paper record, there is no alternative but to load them manually, which you will probably have to do as you need to use them. If, like most people, you have some electronic record like Word, Excel or Outlook, then the process can be partially automated. Converting the data into the right format will allow importing into your password vault in one go, which will save time and reduce errors.