Password Sharing And Its Risks – What You Should Avoid

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risks of password sharing

You would be surprised to know how common it is for employees to share accounts and passwords, while completely ignoring the risks that such actions pose.  

According to SurveyMonkey, the #1 reason why coworkers share password is for team collaboration. Sounds reasonable, right?  

The truth is, sharing the same account or password for team collaboration may not be the smartest idea. If two different people are going to work together on the same word document, keeping track of each other’s changes can become really messy.  

Percentage of people that share passwords at work

But it’s even more shocking to know that 38% of employees say that they share passwords because that’s the procedure they normally use to work. This implies that they were taught to do so, or they just simply joined the company and followed along with what others were doing.   

This is common practice. Many small businesses make use of password sharing, especially during their first years, to cut down costs, resources, and for practical reasons. But is this a smart move? According to Datto, an hour of downtime costs $8,000 on average for a small company. Combine this with the fact that it takes 11 to 24 hours to resume normal operations. The numbers speak for themselves.  

When employees make it a practice to share passwords without adhering to fundamental security guidelines, your company is exposed to security and privacy issues. As a result, you can’t afford to ignore the need to solve safe password-sharing concerns before they become a major problem. 

Here are four reasons why exchanging passwords is dangerous. 

Loss of ownership of accounts

Employees who exchange passwords with coworkers or other people risk giving them access to all other accounts with the same password. So, if someone has malicious intentions and can use your password to gain access to your email account, you could lose your entire online identity. 

When hackers get their hands on your email address, they can also access other passwords they want to change. That’s part of the reality of cyber attacks and how it’s been in recent years. This includes the username and password you use to access online markets. The conclusion is that attackers will have little trouble making purchases using the information in your online account or changing your address or phone number. 

Account security gets compromised 

Sharing passwords for any accounts that your employees use makes them less secure. Giving your password to someone you trust, on the other hand, does not ensure you are safe. 

The reason for this is that such a person could keep the information on a compromised device or not store it in a secure location. As a result, the password you transmit insecurely will be vulnerable to theft, increasing the danger of your private information and accounts being exposed. Therefore, you must be cautious when sharing passwords because you cannot trust anybody or everything. 

Hackers may use your name

Another reason to safely share your password is that anyone who logs in to an account using your credentials is literally on your account. Simply put, every action taken by such a person will be in your name. For example, a hacker could use your account to access inappropriate content or participate in hazardous behaviours. You will be the one to bear the repercussions if this occurs, and the experience may not be good in some cases. 

It’s important to remember that the person you provide your password to, could be the one who devalues your reputation, or it could be third parties that taint your image after accessing your information in an unsafe area. 

Secure your accounts with password managers

Password sharing is not the best practice for sure, but there are ways to do it in a safer way than just writing passwords on sticky notes.  

The solution consists of two words: Password Managers.  

This is how they work

When you need to log into a website with a password manager, you will go to that website normally first. Instead of typing your password into the website, you enter your master password into the password manager, which fills in the required login information for you. (If you’ve previously logged into your password manager, the information will be filled in for you automatically.) 

What about the benefits? 

  • You don’t have to remember what email address, username, or password you used for the website because your password manager keeps track.  
  • If you’re creating a new account, your password manager will automatically generate a secure random password for you, so you don’t have to. It can also be set up to automatically fill out web forms with information like your address, name, and email address.  
  • If you or one of your coworkers need to share a credential, the record can be created in the password manager, so that when someone accesses that shared account, the password manager will automatically fill in the credentials.  

It’s time to secure your accounts

It is essential to provide employees with the right tools to enhance team collaboration. Let’s work together to empower your staff with the right tools. Schedule a quick 15-minute call to start changing the future of your business.  

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