Security should be a top priority for businesses of any size, but especially for those running smaller empires. Don’t assume that hacks are only reserved for larger enterprises. In fact, small business owners are often the most at risk because they have so much else to focus on that they don’t even think twice about password protection.
Whether you have a team of two or twenty, it’s crucial to have policies in terms of how you treat and manage passwords across your company. This is especially true in the digital age were hacks are common and we rely on more software than ever.
If you’re second-guessing your current company password policy or aren’t sure if you have one at all, keep the following five parameters in mind.
Invest in a Password Management System
Simply put, the many moving pieces of pieces of your business accounts are a lot to keep up with. Think about it: site logins, social profiles and network access alone can quickly overwhelm you.
Rather rely on sticky notes or simply keeping such info in your head, having a dedicated password management solution can save you time and question marks when it comes your business’ safety. By having your passwords secured in a central program, there’s no second guessing involved to keeping your info safe.
There is no single definition for what makes a strong password; however, there are some essentials to consider anytime you want to create a new code. For example…
- Don’t use something generic ala “password” or your business’ name: try to combine multiple phrases or words if possible, even if they’re nonsensical
- Use numbers, letters and special characters to further complicated your password
- Finally, play with capitalization to make your even more difficult to crack
As long as your password is complex yet easy to remember, you’re golden.
Every Account Needs a Different Password
You never want to put yourself in a situation where you lose all of your crucial information if a single account gets hacked. The best way to ensure this is by setting up separate passwords for all of your accounts versus similar variations (think: password1, password2, password3 and so on). While this might seem like a lot of legwork, it’s actually pretty simple if you follow the aforementioned tips and have your passwords lodged away in a secure system.
No Sharing Electronically
Likewise, make it a policy to only share passwords in-person or over the phone versus via text or email. You never want to put yourself in a situation where your data or information is compromised due to a breach totally beyond your control. Given how common phishing scams are, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Have a Process for People Leaving
Finally, especially if you’re plagued by high turnover rate, be sure to change your passwords often and have an NDA or legal process in place to protect yourself from people who leave your company. Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry that have to deal with your passwords floating around people who have no business using them.
It’s more than possible to protect your business if you keep these tips in the back of your mind. Password policies are an absolute must for modern companies, so get yours sorted out sooner rather than later so you can focus less on “what-ifs” and more on your business.