The cure for password fatigue at work

When was the last time you had to reset a password because you could not remember it? You are not alone. Over 75% of employees studied in a recent survey admitted to resetting their passwords at least once a month because they forget them (11% reset them at least once a day!). Even if you haven’t forgotten your work password, its likely you’ve had to change it to comply with your company’s security measures.

Vickie Lubner, a security analyst with TDS Telecom, notes that the process of resetting a password can be stressful.

“You are often in the middle of something important when you need to shift mental gears and create something unique that can’t be guessed or cracked. Add minimum requirements for length and complexity (which vary by site/application), the potential to mistype the password in the confirmation field, and this simple task becomes a frustrating interruption to your day,” Lubner said. “This is a prime example of password fatigue.”

The solution? A password manager.

The Benefits of Using a Password Manager

Now, envision going through the password reset process using a system that instantly creates a suitable, strong password and stores it securely for quick access. This is where a password manager comes in.

“A password manager is like a vault that stores all your data in a secure file accessed via a strong ‘master’ password only you know,” Lubner said. “That single strong password (16-character passphrase including uppercase and lowercase letters and special characters) is all you need to remember to access information for the rest of your accounts.”

Fewer unnecessary resets save you time and aggravation, and the process when you do reset a password is less daunting if you use a built-in random-password generator.”

Lubner also highlighted that password managers not only save you valuable time, but also keep your data and information safe. According to data-breach statistics, 81% of confirmed breaches in 2022 were due to weak, reused, or stolen passwords. By generating strong passwords, password managers lessen the likelihood of your accounts being hacked and your valuable information being stolen.

Which Password Manager Should I Use?

Not all password managers are the same. Believe it or not, many password managers have subtle differences that can have an impact on the user experience. According to Lubner, there are two main considerations to have when choosing a password manager, security considerations and ease-of-use considerations. Here are the specific considerations she noted:

  • Do you want your vault stored on your device (aka self-hosted) or in the cloud? There are pros and cons to each:
    • Vaults stored on your device are not at risk of a third-party data breach, but they are often less convenient.
    • Online vaults may offer advanced features such as synching across devices, monitoring the internet for leaked credentials, and emergency access for family members if you lose access to your account. While online storage provides more flexibility, it can also leave your data at risk of a breach.
  • Are security updates released regularly? New gaps should be patched quickly to ensure your data is protected.
  • Can it identify weak passwords? Many have a meter to show the strength when you are looking at each password entry. Some even prompt you with a list of weak entries that should be changed.

There are also ease-of-use considerations:

  • Can it store more than just passwords? Some password managers act as general data vaults and allow storage of other records.
  • What kind of customer support do they offer? You may need to search for customer reviews to determine this.

One password manager to consider is the Password Vault included in the TDS Internet Security Suite. With the TDS Password Vault, you can enjoy access to safe and secure storage of your passwords and data. Features include retrieving passwords and credit card numbers easily from any device and getting analysis of current passwords for weak or duplicate entries. The best part? It’s only $4.95 a month! If you’re not sure, try it free for 30 days!

By using a password manager, you can keep your data and accounts secured with strong and unique passwords. You’ll also be prepared for those tricky password reset situations. And by following the tips above, you’ll be sure to select the password manager that best suits your needs.

Written by Will Chamblee, TDS Communications Intern

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