Best Way to Store Passwords at Home or Work
Whether you’re at work, at home, or working from home, the best way to store passwords is in a place that’s easily accessible and reliable. Here’s the best way to store passwords and how you can steer clear of reset password email loops and dangerous data breaches.
The safest way to store passwords
Some methods for storing passwords are more secure than others. But you don’t have to choose between a safe password storage method and an easy one—a lot of safe options will actually save you time in the end. Here are some pro tips that will help keep all your passwords secure:
Use a password manager
A password manager is the best way to keep passwords safe. Some password managers store and automatically fill in login credentials on behalf of the user.
They help make passwords safer and are convenient for users. Most password managers only require that the user remember one master password, which gives them access to their entire password library. Some password managers can save even more time by syncing across multiple devices and letting users securely share login credentials with colleagues or family members.
Not only do password managers save users time, they’re also the safest way to store passwords and private information. Many password managers use ultra-secure encryption to ensure that nobody besides the user can access that password, which significantly reduces the likelihood of a cyberattack at home or at work.
Popular software for managing passwords
Standard password managers
Bitwarden is one of few password managers that is open-source, which may be a good fit for ultra-technical industries or employee roles. While it offers customer support resources, its tiered subscription plan omits an account recovery tool for basic subscribers, which can hinder employee or family adoption of the password manager. Similarly, LastPass offers analytics tools like dark web monitoring and a security dashboard but has limited customer support options, which can be a hindrance for individuals or families who don’t have an IT manager to turn to for questions.
Dashlane is a widely used password manager that allows users to securely store passwords at home or at work under the same account while keeping both sets of passwords separate. With a secure password-sharing feature, integrated VPN, live 24/7 support for business users, and a smooth account recovery process, Dashlane is extremely efficient and user-friendly.
In terms of safety, Dashlane is also extremely advanced, with 256-bit encryption standards and zero-knowledge architecture.
Most unsafe ways to store passwords
Password managers can help remove the temptation to store passwords in unsafe ways or on unsecure platforms. Here are password storage methods you should avoid:
- Writing them down on paper
Users may believe that writing passwords down on paper and storing them in their office or on sticky notes is secure, but this method is actually risky. Papers can get lost or even fall into the hands of cybercriminals, giving them immediate access to your raw, unencrypted login information. And if you use sticky notes on your laptop, you’re putting your passwords on display every time you work in a public place.
- Saving them to a web browser
Just because web browsers offer to remember your passwords doesn’t mean you should accept. If your laptop gets misplaced, anyone can access your saved passwords by simply opening your browser. Learn more about why people shouldn’t let browsers save their passwords.
- Storing them “loose” on your laptop, in a notes app, in a spreadsheet, on Slack, or in email
This method also makes it incredibly easy for cybercriminals to gain access to your login credentials. In the event that your laptop gets stolen or hacked, using this method can also put you at risk for a data breach or identity theft.
Why is it important to keep your passwords secure?
Password security and ease of password storage don’t have to be at odds with each other. Password managers can keep account information safe while reducing the time it takes to gain access throughout the day. It’s important to balance ease of use with security because of risks like:
- Theft and breaches
Practicing safe password management habits is meant to reduce the risk of data breaches for you and your company. While a stolen password for something simple like a Netflix subscription might not seem like a big deal, having access to one of your accounts acts as a springboard for cybercriminals, especially if the password is reused elsewhere. They can gain personal info and use it for identity theft or to access more valuable accounts, such as online banking or professional email accounts.
- Financial implications
The financial aspect of a data breach can be devastating for any company or individual. The average cost of a data breach caused by compromised or stolen passwords is $4.35 million, and that number has risen sharply over the last five years. Over half of small-to-medium-sized businesses close within six months following a data breach. Individuals also face costs if their personal data is breached; the average cost to an individual per cybercrime is about $4,476.
- Wasted time
For people, stolen credentials or social security numbers can mean months of recovering your assets or identity. On average, it can take 100 to 200 hours over six months to undo identity theft. For businesses, the time it takes to resolve a data breach is significant not only for IT managers but for the entire company. Countless human hours could be wasted by resetting passwords, identifying the cause of the breach, assessing damage, and repairing public reputation.
Even without a data breach, the day-to-day process of searching for, retrieving, resetting, and sharing passwords can be a massive time waster. In the event that an account gets locked out for too many failed login attempts, even more time is wasted on the phone with customer support or IT to unlock the account and reset passwords.
This happened in a business case with one of our customers, Community Services Group. After having an account locked out, the only way to regain access was to create a ticket for IT support. In the first half of 2020 alone, the IT team received 645 requests to unlock accounts. This was a time waster not only for the individuals but also for IT and the company as a whole.
Other ways to keep passwords safe
Password managers are the best way to store passwords for individuals interested in saving time and preventing vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. There are several additional platforms that can work hand-in-hand with password managers to add extra layers of cybersecurity:
Single sign-on (SSO) technology enables users to log in on one platform with one set of credentials and gain access to all other platforms that use SSO. Because users only have to remember one set of login credentials, SSO can incentivize them to avoid unsafe password storage methods. It can also encourage users to create a much stronger password since they only have to remember one.
Learn more about how strong your password is and whether you should change it.
SSO can get confusing when you have to remember not only an SSO password but also a master password for your password manager. However, some password managers like Dashlane integrate with your current SSO provider automatically, so you don’t need to remember both an SSO password and a master password.
2-factor authentication (2FA)
2-factor authentication (2FA) asks the user for an additional layer of verification before granting access to an application. You receive an additional code via phone call, text, app, or email that you then use to log in to the application. 2-factor authentication is extremely secure, but entering two sets of login credentials for every login attempt can become cumbersome. Password managers like Dashlane work in tandem with 2-factor authentication to automatically provide that extra layer of protection.
Try Dashlane’s password manager
Dashlane’s password manager offers individuals and businesses a safe and secure way to store passwords across different devices. Users can seamlessly switch between personal and work devices with one password manager account and can easily share access to different accounts with family members and colleagues.
Even better: Dashlane uses 256-bit encryption architecture—a framework used by government and military organizations.
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