Like it or lump it, and until some genius invents a brilliant way to do without them, we’re going to need to work with, record, and occasionally share, passwords.
Small business owners (whether or not they’re tenants of Broadstone Business Centre!) may not have the in-house skills or knowledge to know how to share passwords securely.
The good news is that there are quick, mostly free, and easy methods of ‘relatively securely’ sharing passwords.
Disclaimer: there’s no such thing as a 100% forever secure solution. There are just more secure, and less secure, methods.
Here are our favourites, in no particular order:
- Use a password manager: Password managers like LastPass, 1Password, or Dashlane allow you to share passwords securely with others. They use encryption to protect your passwords, and you can set up permissions so that only certain people can access specific passwords. Look for a free or trial plan to get you started.
- Send encrypted messages: You can use encrypted messaging services like Signal or WhatsApp to send passwords securely. These services use end-to-end encryption, which means that only the sender and the recipient can read the messages.
- Use a password-protected document: You can create a password-protected document using a service like Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or Dropbox. Share the document separately from the password (see #4 below), and only with people you trust. Similarly, you can limit access to online (cloud-based) documents, like Google Docs, to only specific persons, who must first be successfully logged in with an email address/account you specify.
- Use a free, reputable online password-sharing service like Password Pusher or QuickForget. These allow you to record a password, and then share a link (URL) to retrieve that password with the appropriate person(s). By default, such services will limit access to that password by time (e.g. 48 hours) and/or a certain number of retrievals (e.g. 2). Even in the highly-unlikely-but-never-impossible event that the password you temporarily share is hacked, the hacker doesn’t know a) what system it’s for and b) what the corresponding username is.
- Share the password in person, i.e. verbally. Just try to ensure that the recipient stores it securely (and/or commits it to memory!).
Whatever method you use to share passwords, make sure you follow good password hygiene practices by creating unique, strong passwords and never sharing your own passwords (i.e. for things only you need access to) with anyone else.