I know the thought of having to add even one more step to daily IT safety routines can bring cringes and groans, especially to anyone who has not yet had a major, catastrophic, time-consuming hack. But it’s time. Get to know your new BFF—your password manager app.
A password manager app has many purposes, all of them helpful. It keeps all your passwords under one encrypted and password-protected roof. It generates strong passwords for you, and it will automatically insert them when you log into different sites. Almost all these tools work on the principle that you create a master password for access to your password vault, and then the password manager fills in individual user IDs and passwords for the sites and apps you use. A major benefit to this approach is you no longer need to memorize the passwords yourself. You can give each site or app a complex, one-of-a-kind, hard to remember password.
Yes, But What If . . .
What if a bad actor gains access to your master password?
Most password managers employ multifactor authentication, so access to your credential vault must follow both a correct password and a correct authentication code. That code can only be seen on a device you own, thus limiting the ability for someone across the world to learn your information.
There are many apps for password management out there these days. Aptica likes to use LastPass. One of LastPass’s strongest features is its security challenge. It will go through your entire password database and determine how many of your accounts have duplicate passwords even which ones have weak password protection.
LastPass also allows you to automatically change some passwords without having to do so manually. You can have a constantly changing set of identity information, which negates any value that older passwords have. LastPass has its own authentication app and, for some common websites, allows you to simply tap to authorize entrance.
A Suggested Read For Understanding How To Use A Password Manager App
I recommend you read a good walk-through article from The Verge, an American media network that covers the intersection of technology, science, art, and culture. The article linked above uses LastPass to walk you through the process of incorporating a password manager app into your everyday IT safety routine. Using a password manager app is very important these days, and enough cannot be said about doing all you can to safeguard your business and personal data.
Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium sized businesses for 16 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.