Having strong, secure passwords protects the sensitive information of your business from the prying eyes of hackers, competitors, and other unscrupulous people with an ax to grind against your company. With so much business information kept online in the modern economy, your passwords serve as a virtual lock and key for everything from your payroll data and marketing campaigns to your business social media accounts.
Passwords are highly effective against data breaches as long as you make them difficult to guess and don’t reveal them to others. As your business grows, however, it eventually becomes difficult to manage everything on your own. Delegating responsibility involves granting password access to certain employees you hire to do tasks for you. The following guide covers the basic security essentials for sharing your company passwords with employees.
Be Stingy With Access
Ideally, as a small business owner, you want no more than one person besides yourself having access to each of your passwords. For example, if you delegate the task of promoting your business on social media, then there should be one social media manager with access to your passwords for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so forth. Other employees who work under this person might help with brainstorming ideas for social media campaigns or posts, but they shouldn’t have access to log in and access the accounts themselves. Everything should be done through the department head.
Always Know Your Passwords
Never, at any time, should your employees be allowed to change passwords without your knowledge. You are the owner of the business. You should be able to access any account you want, at any time, without having to go through a subordinate.
This password security policy should be etched in stone when you start handing out password access on, ideally, a limited basis to people who work for you. No password changes are to be made without clearing it with you first, and you are to know the current passwords for all business accounts at all times.
Your business security depends on you being able to access any company records immediately if the need arises. The last thing you want in an emergency situation is to have to track down an employee who is on vacation or out of the office just to be able to access your accounting records.
Consider a Trusted Confidant
If your business is very small with only a handful of employees, it probably doesn’t make sense to designate a different employee to have access to each of your passwords. Instead, pick your most senior employee, or the person you trust the most in the company, and grant him or her access to all your business passwords. This employee essentially serves as a backup if you’re ever out of the office or unavailable when something requiring password access needs to be completed. All other employees must come to you or the person you designate when they need access to something protected behind a password.