Nearly 67% of CISO’s (Chief Information Security Officers) surveyed confirmed their blaring concerns about their companies falling prey to data breaches and cyber security attacks. If you don’t treat this seriously, your job could be at risk. And a secure password is the first line of defense to avoid getting hacked.
As cyber hackers become more advanced in their skills, and tech companies, with all of their best intentions, embrace a ‘transparent’ and ‘agile’ way of operating, data breaches and password leaks are inevitable occurrences.
From a business perspective, this could mean:
- Losing valuable data to third parties and competitors with bad intentions.
- Identity theft.
- Losing precious customers, leading to instability and company failure.
- Losing complete control over your company’s management and administration.
Could anything be worse?
Naturally, there is a solid need to create, store and manage passwords to protect your company’s most precious, confidential and highly vulnerable assets. Passwords are the keys that unlock the doors to these assets, and only you should have them.
The problem with using any third party device or app for passwords is that it’s always subject to the risk of being hacked. Not only do third parties applications cost money, they could malfunction, leaving the customer stranded.
In this article, we’ll cover some valuable insights on the smartest way of creating & retrieving passwords and avoid getting hacked.
Let’s get right in!
Create & Retrieve Passwords Securely: The Silver Bullet.
It’s no surprise that you need a password manager. The 2 most important functions of a great password management tool, usually, are:
- To help you create a strong complex password.
- To help you save & retrieve it safely & securely.
Let’s talk about (1). Creating a complex password that’s also easy to remember is hard for the normal human brain. Usually we think of a combination of words, expressions and numbers or special characters to create a password, which is too easy for a hacker’s brain to unveil.
Clearly, you need a better way!
An effective way of creating complex, yet ‘memorable’ passwords is to use a password card. It’s basically a card with an assortment of letters, symbols and numbers arranged in rows and columns, like the one below:
Generate a password card and give it a name to get started. Then, draw a line across a row or column, or draw any shape like a square or triangle across the card, and soon you’d have a very complex, yet memorable password based on the characters your drawn line or shape includes.
You could also use the password manager to auto-generate a random password for you, which is especially useful if your password needs to meet specific character requirements.
But why create a password this way and how does it prevent data breaches?
Password cards are a combination of random and unique characters, not easy enough to guess by someone else. They’re also printable cards you can keep in your wallet. Even if another person saw your password card, it would be nearly impossible to guess what your password is!
With this method, the password manager isn’t really creating the password for you, but only helping you create a password that only you can later remember. Which brings us to point (2).
If you save your password somewhere, the point is, it’s still ‘accessible’.
That’s the whole reason why passwords get hacked in the first place! Because they’re stored somewhere.
But, using the password card method, your password can be retrieved using a ‘password hint’ which tells you what combination of characters are included in your actual password. So the only thing that gets saved on your password management tool is the ‘password hint’ to help you remember it.
Simply put, if your password is all the characters in an L-shape on the card, your password hint could be “L shape from A3 until A15 and then P15” (look at the image below). Of course, you could create better hints than that!
The reason why your passwords are highly secure this way is because they’re actually not stored anywhere, so there’s no chance of them being hacked. All that the password management tool is doing is enabling you to come up with a good password, and then helping you remember it. Simple, yet effective.
This helps resolve the problem of losing all of your passwords in case your password management application gets hacked.
So how can you optimize the value from your password management tool?
- You can set password reminders to regularly change your passwords.
- You can share your passwords securely with internal staff members as only they’d know the answers to the password hints you’d create.
- You can use the tool offline too, since all you really need is your password card which you can print easily.
Remember, never divulge your passwords to anyone, including a password management tool. There are plenty of cases of password management apps being hacked, as they’re a ‘hackers paradise’. You might as well avoid these pitfalls!
Use a tool like PasswordWrench as an enabler, and not a storehouse of valuable information waiting to be hacked. Try PasswordWrench for free, and be safe.