SMALL BUSINESS TIP #3: Get a Password Manager
Are you playing a virtual game of Russian Roulette? You are if you aren’t using a Password Manager.
These days most of us do several of the following online—communicate, shop, socialize, bank, host our websites, book vacations and business trips, store our music and digital photos, and back up massive amounts of sensitive data. Odds are you’re also using the same (or only slightly different) password to log in to every single website out of convenience.
Here’s the BIG problem—if you’re making it easier on yourself, you’re also making it easier for the hackers and their robotic assistants. New hackers are being born every day—and it only takes one of them to turn your personal and/or business life completely upside down. It’s truly scary.
You can protect yourself from this threat with a Password Manager.
What is a Password Manager?
A Password Manager is a brilliant application that combines the ease of a single password and tight security.
There are lots of them out there. Many of them good…some not so good. My field-tested favorite is 1Password. (Get it? One password.)
1Password is a super simple app that lets you collect and store all your unique passwords into one encrypted e-vault. Trust me…it’s worth the price and the up front effort to set it up.
Don’t just take my word for it—here’s a review of 1Password by Cloudwards professional review site: 1Password Review
How Does a Password Manager Work?
They pretty much all function the same. Here’s how you get up and running with 1Password:
- Purchase the 1Password app from the Apple Store on your Mac or PC (NOT from the 1Password website).
- Create a new account and follow their instructions to set up your master password.
- Install the proper browser extension on your Mac or PC. From now on, when you need to log in to a website, you’ll do so by clicking on the iPassword icon in the upper right of your toolbar.
- Now, download the app to your mobile device.
- Follow the instructions in the mobile app to sync with your computer (using the iCloud if you’re a Mac user).
- Open Safari on your mobile device and click on the Share/Forward button. From the “Add Bookmark” row, scroll over until you see the …More choice. Click on it, drag the 1Password option to the top and turn it on. From now on, when you need log in to a website, you’ll click on the Share/Forward button and click on the iPassword icon. (Many apps are now adding 1Password to their login screens making it even easier to login.)
- As you log into your existing online accounts, use 1Password’s Password Generator (found on the browser extension or in the mobile app) to create a new, more secure and very unique passwords for each account and update your account profile.
- When prompted by 1Password, save the new login.
- When you create new logins on websites, 1Password will automatically prompt you to generate a new secure password and save it in your password database.
No more Russian Roulette!
And, there’s more good news—1Password is not just for passwords. You can store credit card information, bank accounts, all those software licenses you used to lose and more.
Be sure and check your backup settings to make sure it’s set to automatic, so you don’t lose all those totally unique and secure passwords.
It takes a few days to trust it completely, but once you do, you’ll wonder how you lived without it for so long.
If your head is spinning with the thought of making this effort, I assure you that having your identity stolen is likely to incapacitate you so email or call me so I can help with this process.