Today, dental offices access a myriad of online services. Each of these services is protected with a username and password. Without proper tools, managing these passwords can be a security nightmare. Some of the obviously bad solutions:
- Keep all usernames and passwords in an Excel file
- Write all usernames and passwords on a small piece of paper hidden under the keyboard
- Openly share usernames and passwords on a printed sheet, taped at the front of the office
Some of these may sound bad, but I have personally witnessed every single one. I have also seen worse!
Password Managers to the Rescue
Today there are several free password managers that are available to help solve the security problems associated with too many usernames and passwords. The solution also provides benefits to system administrators beyond simple security.
Our favorite password manager is LastPass. We also really like KeePass. Both are free and work really well. Check out their sites and choose which is best for you. If you already have a password manager that you really like, be sure to mention it below in the comments section.
Reasons to Use Password Managers
- Protect your accounts with better passwords – A password manager allows you to automatically generate random passwords with lower case, upper case, and special characters with the push of a button. Specify passwords with at least 15 characters where possible. This practice significantly reduces the chance of having your password hacked.
- Get ahead of the curve during the next big data breach – Data breaches are now commonplace. When you find out that a service you were using was breached, you can use built-in functionality to quickly change your passwords. LastPass can change passwords for you automatically.
- Share passwords safely and effectively – Sometimes sharing a password can’t be avoided. If you both use the password manager, you can share the password between both accounts. This means when one person changes the password, it updates in both password vaults or databases.
- Perform security audits to measure the effectiveness of your password choices – Many password managers will audit your passwords across all sites. From there you can identify if you are using the same password on multiple sites.
We would love the chance to discuss your thoughts on password managers. Do you have a favorite tool that deserves a mention. Put it in the comments section below. If there are any questions, put them in the comments below or give us a call and we are happy to help where we can.
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