Password Security Really IS Important!

“I keep all my passwords in a notebook”

We heard this gem of “advice” at a networking event a while back and we were fairly horrified, yet a few other people chimed in with “ooh, what a good idea!”. No, no, no. NO! What’s worse is that this person isn’t just writing their own passwords down, but passwords for their clients too.

Currently we don’t have a need to outsource our social media, website or any admin tasks, but if we were we would expect any sensitive information to be kept safe and secure. Encryption and two-factor authentication maybe. Misplacing someone’s passwords because you wrote them in a notebook is completely inexcusable. Call us dramatic, but you could destroy someone’s business.

Whilst a notebook might not be the top of any thief’s shopping list, there’s a fair chance that you might take it out and about with you. Probably in your laptop bag, which obviously is a target for thieves. What do you do then if your laptop gets pinched? Or what about if you accidentally leave said notebook behind after working in a coffee shop?

Yes, complex passwords are annoying. Yes, they are easy to forget. Let’s call a spade a spade, they’re a pain. But that’s why your devices can suggest and save complex passwords. That’s why services such as KeePass* exist. Because keeping your passwords as safe as possible is important for keeping your business running.

“I use the same password for everything”

If we had a pound for every time someone has said this to us over the past few years, we could quit this IT support lark and go and live on a (modest) desert island. Even after both of us have bored audiences rigid talking about password security at different events, people still think that using the same password for everything is ok.

And it is. If you’re happy with your email password being hacked, leading to every account you’ve ever opened being compromised and probably ends with your PayPal account being emptied? Carry on, you’ve got this.

However, if you prefer to keep things more secure, please come up with a unique password for each of your accounts. Can’t remember them? Use your device or a password manager like KeePass to encrypt them and keep them safe from prying eyes.

(The only exception to this rule is if all the places you’re using the same password use two-factor authentication. We’ll let you off.)

“Complex passwords are annoying and hard to remember”

Yes, they are and we’re no better at remembering them than you are. These days you need a password for everything: email, banking, shopping, even booking hair appointments online. Remembering a unique complex password for everything you ever created an online account for would be impossible. We know. But when we hear people telling each other that there’s no point in using complex passwords, we internally scream. This stuff does matter!

If you’ve been paying attention, you can guess what our advice is here: use your device to generate, encrypt and save all those pesky passwords, or use a password manager such as KeePass* Did you guess we were going to say that? Gold star for you!

“Help!”

If you fancy a quick chat about password security (well, maybe you can’t sleep) then get in touch and we’d be happy to talk through it with you and offer some suggestions.

*Despite frequent mentions, this post is not sponsored by KeePass. We use it, we like it. Plus, it’s free and who doesn’t like free?