We are well aware that passwords are extremely sensitive, yet still sharing work passwords with coworkers is more common than you would think. According to reports from SurveyMonkey, 34 percent of the workers share their passwords and accounts with their colleagues. These figures show, how despite understanding the sensitivity of the matter, people choose to entrust their sensitive information with associates.
While sharing passwords to your Netflix account may appear to be pretty harmless (and unlawful), sharing work account passwords can have grave consequences, as it can put the company’s security under threat. Whether it is with your spouse or your most trusted colleague, sharing credentials of your official accounts can risk sensitive company information being leaked. Confidential data can be at risk if it ends up in the wrong hands.
Perils of Sharing Your Password at Work
Despite the convenience that it brings, it is not worth sharing your passwords with anyone, no matter how much you trust them. password sharing can result in serious security threats for you. For example, one of your trusted coworkers used your credentials to login to the company database and accidently deleted important documents. In this case, no one will believe that they did it if they choose to lie because the logs shows that it was your account that was logged in. It could cost you your job or put you behind bars.
Another risk of sharing your passwords is that people can easily change their credentials. As a result, not only will they have full control over your accounts but will also block you out from using those accounts. This means that someone else can send mails and messages using your name and you will not even have the access to delete those messages.
Most importantly, company data is only as secure as the weakest link. You may be using multi-factor authentication, encryption and other secure methods to guard access to the company data, but if the person the password is shared with mistakenly stores the password in an unsecure manner; and a rogue agent gains access to this unsecured password in your trusted co-worker’s possession; then no technological solutions will protect the company.
Access to Your Social Media
Today’s digitalized world has made it hard for us to manage so many online accounts. As a result, we may end up choosing the same password for all our accounts. Yes, it might be easier to remember the password if it’s the same for each account, but it is just as likely to give access to others. For example, imagine you choose the same password for your personal Facebook account as you did for your company’s portal. If you have shared your work password with a coworker, you can guess how long it will take for them to figure out your Facebook password if they ever try to log in. Our social media accounts are extremely personal and if others have access to them it is a huge breach of our privacy, without us even knowing.
People can also misuse such information. Someone having access to your social media is like them having control over your public image. Moreover, there are thousand other things they can control such as sending messages from your name, posting inappropriate things on your wall, link your account to untrusted websites, etc. This is one of the disadvantages of the normalizing the use of the Internet. Despite the innumerable conveniences that the Internet has given us, there is always a risk of misusing social media. By sharing your passwords, you are making it easier to fall prey to this risk.
Hacking and Phishing
Even though you have not shared your password with anyone, you can do it unintentionally as well. Ever since the concept of passwords came out, hackers have been busy trying to get in. Sharing passwords can make you more vulnerable to getting your accounts hacked. For example, despite all the firewalls you have installed in your computer, if a coworker logs your credentials on his unprotected PC, hackers can easily get that information.
Phishing is another common way that hackers use to get a hold of their prey’s passwords. Phishing occurs when the victims are sent a link where they are asked to enter their credentials; once they do, the hacker gets a copy of it. This is why we must be careful about unprotected sites and links.
How to Give Access to Your Accounts?
There are some circumstances under which it is absolutely necessary to give your passwords to others. For example, in case you are missing or dead, people left behind will need your passwords in order to continue your work. So, how can you share the passwords without putting your security in jeopardy while you are alive or present?
In such cases an effective password and essential information manager, such as Shared Trust can be extremely helpful. Saving your passwords in Shared Trust will ensure that they are safe from all the hassle mentioned above. Moreover, when needed, this information will be given to specified people. For example, if you instruct to share your work passwords with your associate in case you go missing or after your death, Shared Trust will run a background check and then fulfil your demands. This way, you will not have to share your passwords while you are well and alive.
All the data you store in Shared Trust is saved in an encrypted form. Not even the operators of the app can see what documents or information stored in your account. This data is only decrypted by your command under specified circumstances. Shared Trust is your companion that makes sure that all your tasks are completed after your death. The app will reveal your stored data as per your predetermined instructions. If you choose to destroy the information, that can be done as well.
Tips on Using A Password and Essential Information Management App
Password management apps such as Shared Trust can make it easier and convenient for you to have all your passwords in a safe space. Storing your credentials or hints to it on the app will help you if you forget a password. Even though you will have the Shared Trust app installed on your phone, no data will be recorded on it. Instead, all the data is encrypted and stored on a cloud database, with additional access policies restrict access. So, even though you lose your phone all your sensitive records will be safe.
If you lose your phone or forget your password for the Shared Trust app, Shared Trust has a manual verification process that requires you to answer certain security questions and perform a Photo/ID verification, before we grant you access – for your own protection.
The app gives you the option to share information such as passwords, DNA results, the location of your physical will, etc. in case of your death, disability, if you are reported missing or if you do not log into the app for a specific period of time (this is known as a dead man switch, or no proof of life condition). You can also specify extremely specific conditions under which the app will give this information to your appointed people. Make sure that you do not tell anyone about the information you have stored in the app and under what circumstances can that information be revealed. Doing so can put your life in danger. So, how will these people know about getting the information and data from the app after my death? Shared Trust takes care of that. Once you have specified the circumstances that make it okay to share this information, the app will check if they have been met (by the information being vouched for by multiple trusted parties that you nominate) and reveal the information to trusted parties.
Your trusted parties will be notified about the information through the email addresses you have stored on the app. They will then have to download the app and get access to the information you chose to share with them. The community tab will give them access to look at specific records you choose (e.g. you can leave special instructions, information on key man policies and other key information that will not compromise company systems).
Pöyry, E. (2020, July 16). 4 risks of sharing passwords. Retrieved from Top Content: https://topcontent.com/blog/4-risks-of-sharing-passwords/
Shared Trust. (n.d.). FAQ. Retrieved from Shared Trust: https://sharedtrust.app/faq/
Williams, B. (2019, March 19). The dangers of password sharing at work. Retrieved from Techradar Pro: https://www.techradar.com/news/the-dangers-of-password-sharing-at-work