Even if you do not have a website yet, or if you have a website and are looking to for a website designer or developer to help you freshen it up, you are going to need to keep an accurate list of all your usernames and passwords to save yourself and your web developer a lot of time (and headache!).
In this blog we are going to discuss what makes a good password, what accounts you will need to keep a track of and a trick of mine to keep my passwords unique, memorable and safe.
This is the seventh blog in the “How To Prepare To Hire A Web Designer Blog Series”
If you have just joined me, maybe you would like to read the first blog in this series “Make sure you understand your business first” or any of the following in this series before continuing!
- Be Realistic About Your First Edition -Think Minimum Viable Website (MPW)
- Consider A Number of Experts
- How to Analyse Your Competitor’s Websites
- Determine Your Keywords (Search Terms)
- Pay For Your Own Domain Name And Hosting
You need passwords for everything, from your bank accounts, emails, social media, doctors, gardening club and more! It feels like everyone is asking for a password and your head feels swamped with trying to remember different ones. It is all too easy to fall back on same ones you have used for years!
In 2016, these are the top ten commonly used on the internet – do you see one of yours?
If so, you should change your password as soon possible – but of course not before you finished reading this blog, you might learn a thing or two.
The reason these passwords are not good enough to use for any of your online accounts is that it will only take someone less than a millisecond to hack your account. Once they are in, they can infect your website files, create a back doors, take down your site or steal your identity and more. Let’s learn how to make a strong but memorable password.
How To Make A Strong Password You Will Remember.
As the xkcd comic above suggests, you shouldn’t just replace number for letters, this isn’t strong enough.
My recommendation on how to make a password, is to think of at least four common unrelated words and link them together. such as:
Fork garden cherry africa
Then include a few special characters, such as:
Not only is this password hard to crack, the combination of odd words linked together with special characters make it easy to remember.
If you have lots of passwords to create and remember you might want to consider using something like LastPass it helps you generate and store passwords in a secure online vault. Where you can access it from anywhere in the world from your computer or phone. All you have to do is remember one hard master password.
Keep A List & Keep It Updated
Start creating a list of all your passwords and be very diligent about updating the list. If you already have a website, think back from the day you bought your domain name and hosting package and work forwards. Include things like social media accounts, payment gateways and newsletter login details. (If you have a LastPass account as suggested before, you can create a folder within LastPass where you keep all your website related passwords in)
Here is a handy list of accounts You Might Already Have
- Hosting login (Cpanel)
- FTP details
- Domain name login (If you purchased your domain name if not with your hosting plan)
- Website login (existing website if any)
- Social media accounts
- Newsletter Account (Mailchimp, Aweber, etc)
- Paypal &/or other payment gateways such as Stripe, Braintree, etc
How To Share Your List Safety
Now you have a complete list of passwords you need to share with your website designer, but are wondering how do you share them safely. Most of my clients email me their passwords, this is a quick and easy solution, but you need to remember to go back and change all those passwords as most email systems are not a secure end to end connection. Which means it can never be trusted.
The only safe way to share passwords is by using Lastpass.
Lastpass has a share option, where you can share whole folders or individual websites to team members or individual people.
If you’re not going the Lastpass method, here are other safer methods include:
- Skype:Sending it via Skype, and then immediately deleting the message/s once the recipient has received and saved them.
- Use Dropbox: Put the document into Dropbox and share the folder with the person’s email address.
- Use Whatsapp? – Go ahead and use that – it is an end to end encrypted messaging system.
- Text Message & Email: If only sending one or two you can send it via text message. Just remember to not to include a reference to what it is for in the text message. Email the recipient and tell them – “I’ve texted you the FTP password” that way people can not quickly put two and two together.
Go Ahead and Create that Comprehensive User Name and Password List!
It might all sound like a lot of hassle, but before you know it, it will become natural to be more selective about your password choice or how you store and share them. At the end of the day, nobody wants their website hacked or their identity stolen. Some simple good online practices go a long way for your internet security.