If you ask a security professional, you get by-the-book advice about sharing passwords: “Don’t share passwords.” But we know, in reality, that doesn’t work. Your office might be sharing a single password for apps like SurveyMonkey right now to save cash on buying additional users, and some social media accounts don’t even give you the option to have multiple log-ins. Sharing passwords in your office is sometimes necessary for collaboration, and the best way to do this is by using a password manager. Affordable (some platforms even offer free versions), layered with security, and simple to use, password managers are the safest and easiest way to store and share your company’s private passwords.
Shared accounts are the biggest reason businesses share passwords, whether their employees work from a physical office or at home. It improves collaboration and makes employees’ jobs a lot easier. Medical leaves, turnover, vacations, and “Bob isn’t coming in because he ate bad fish last night but has our Amazon log-in” are other reasons passwords get handed around, like a plate of turkey at Thanksgiving dinner.
However, unsafe sharing habits will put your private passwords in the hands of greedy hackers, who can fetch a high price for your data in dark web markets. IBM Security reported that in 2022, 19% of all breaches were caused by stolen or compromised credentials.
We recommend using reliable password managers because they have multiple layers of encryption so only those with a key (your master password) can see it, AND they include more robust security and sharing features like:
To use password managers, you only need to remember one password – the master password. One downside is that whomever you share a password with needs an account for the same service. However, most password managers have corporate accounts, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
A Word To The Wise: Look out for password managers with a bad security track record, like LastPass, which was breached in 2022, 2021, 2016, and 2015.
It’s a good idea to avoid sharing passwords as much as possible, but when you have to, use a reliable password manager to ensure you have control over exactly who sees your credentials. Talk to your employees about safe password hygiene, host regular security-awareness training for employees, and use MFA with every account. It’s not just safe business – it’s smart business.