Password Best Practices for Your Service Business
Why Worry About Password Protection
“Passwords are annoying. Being required to have 12 characters, 3 capital letters, 2 numbers, it goes on and on. We’re busy people, we don’t have time to think of a complex password that we’ll most likely forget within a week. Not like it’s a big deal anyway, I just want to have the same password for everything.”
Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. Getting that email saying password requirements have changed, and we now have to come up with a password looking like this: x6EZyn7K/T’”E[e. Yet, generating better passwords is key because people aren’t learning. For example, take a look at the Top 10 Passwords of 2015:
Of course, we can use tools like www.passwordsgenerator.net to get ideas quickly, but there is no way we’re remembering that password while working 12hrs a day, 5 days a week.
Why is this a big deal anyway? Of course, we know why. Everybody has met somebody in the service industry that has had clients taken away by ex-employees. Stealing client lists, job quotes, and private company information that is essential to the operation of your business is nothing to sneeze at.
Remembering and creating passwords can be frustrating, but remember that it is crucial to protecting your business. Knowing your private information is secure will allow you to focus on the operation side of your business. Shrugging off the importance of password protection is like not worrying about everybody knowing where the key is to your house or the PIN code to your credit card. With that said, let’s keep it quick, and get you underway.
Don't be Afraid of The Cloud
Having private and important information stored right on your computer is not the best idea. If your computer is lost, stolen, or breaks—you lose everything. Business data should be in the cloud because cloud-based data is encrypted, making it a much more secure option.
If you’re a Jobber user, your data is backed up 6 times a day, plus nightly and weekly. That’s on top of the fact that the infrastructure that Jobber is built on top of is completely redundant and fail safe both in terms of storage and processing. The physical facility that your data is stored in is also extremely secure. You can read more about our webs services security here: www.heroku.com/policy/security
Don't Share Your Password
Pretty obvious. Yet, when you find yourself starting a business with your best friend, your brother, your sister, etc, these things happen. To keep things simple, your password should be owned by you, and only you. One company-wide password is like shooting yourself in the foot. Protect your password, don’t have it on a sticky note attached to the computer in your office.
Pay Attention to Employee Permissions
Don’t give all your employees the same level of access to your business information. Be selective and use systems that allow you to customize what your employees can and cannot see. This ability gives you the power to organize your employees and give resources/functions to the people that really need it. In addition, as the owner of your business, make sure you are the administrator for the software that you are using in order to manage permissions.
For example, as an administrator in Jobber, you can specify permissions for each team member so that they only have access to view, create, and modify the pieces of information you are giving them clearance for.
As Your Employees Change, so Should Your Security
To start, if an employee is let go or decides to leave the business, make sure you deactivate them to restrict their access to your business resources.
Once that’s done, based on the trust with the employee, you may want to change your passwords across the company to ensure that your trade secrets stay with you. We’ve all heard stories like, ‘I never thought he would steal from us’ or ‘none of our clients would move to him anyway.’ Look, this is your business, any risk that could hurt your company should be addressed. As the classic saying goes, ‘better safe than sorry’.
To conclude, protect your password like it’s your PIN code, monitor employee permissions, don’t share your password, and change it when necessary. By taking the small amount of time to do these tasks, you will have protected your business information (client lists, cost structures, etc). Be smart, generate a difficult password, keep it safe, and move on to the operations of your business free of anxiety.
Read how to manage employee permission in your Jobber account here.