Lock down Security with a Password Manager.

Lock down Security with a Password Manager.

A scary-sounding headline in the Washington Post declared: Your password has probably been stolen. Here's what to do about it.

Passwords are a huge risk.

As much as we become numb to the latest data breaches, the reality is that it has quite likely affected every one of us in some way. One effective way to combat that threat is to use a password manager, which not only keeps track of all of your passwords and usernames in one spot but also helps you create new, unique -- and complicated -- passwords.

Password strength.

First, a word of advice: even if you don't sign up for a password manager, improve your existing passwords. If you're unsure about the strength of your passwords, check SplashData's annual list of the 100 worst passwords of the year. Amazingly, "123456" ranked first YET AGAIN (five years running), followed by "password" at number 2. Mix things up. We recommend using a sentence to create a password. For example, “I have 344 clients in NY!” This sentence would make the password: Ih344ciNY! Which meets all the standard password criteria for a strong password; more than 8 characters, including lower case and capital letters, a number, and a special character.

Ready to learn more about a password manager for your company?

Tech website The Verge published an article on how to use a password manager, and listed the three most popular versions as 1Password, LastPass, and Dashlane. Though each is similar, The Verge chose LastPass because it's the cheapest and is available on most platforms. All of these solutions work on Mac or PC. Most of them even have various access levels you can set so everyone in your company can access the passwords they need for their daily activities.

All you need is one master password to log in

And then the manager stores the rest for you, though you do have to import them either via your browser or manually. You can then sync the manager to other devices. Each of the managers also has an audit, which lets you know how secure your passwords are and which ones are weak. And please say that you DO have different passwords and don't simply re-use each one across dozens of sites - right? But how do you know everyone in your company is complying with these basic rules?

These password managers will also help you to change all of your passwords to something you'd never generate on your own.

Password managers come with password generators that randomly create strong passwords with whatever criteria you select. This is helpful when you need to update your passwords. Admittedly, the process to update passwords every 6 months can get a little tedious. But in the end, it's far better than dealing with having your data stolen and having to restore your company data back to normal. That can translate into lost revenue, angry clients and a host of additional costs for your company. Secure your passwords today with a reputable password manager.