Why Storing Passwords in Spreadsheets or Sticky Notes Is a Bad Idea

Is it Safe to Keep Passwords in a Spreadsheet?

One of the worst ways to keep track of passwords is in an Excel Spreadsheet or equivalent. Employees often fall into this bad habit because they have no other way of storing or sharing company account credentials. However, this practice results in very poor password security because spreadsheets are not encrypted.

Cyber attacks occur because of vulnerabilities within an organisation. Putting your passwords on a sticky note, for example, makes you susceptible to password-related attacks because it opens the door for threat actors to easily get a hold of your passwords. Think of it like placing your house key under your welcome mat – it's the first place an intruder would check.

People often share spreadsheets containing usernames and passwords by emailing or copying them to a USB drive. This is a dangerous practice as it can be intercepted by a cybercriminal or lost in the process. Copies of the spreadsheet can easily be made and there is no way to see who can access the information or prevent former employees from taking it.

Is it Safe to Keep Passwords in a Spreadsheet?
The Best Way to Securely Store Your Passwords

The Best Way to Securely Store Your Passwords

The only way to ensure your passwords are secure is by storing them in a password manager. A password manager is a cybersecurity solution that aids you in generating, storing, managing and sharing your passwords.

What makes password managers so great is that you'll only have to remember a single password – your master password. Your master password allows you to access the data in your password vault. When it's entered correctly, all contents in your vault are decrypted locally on your device. You can also set up access to your password vault via biometrics such as fingerprint or face ID.

This differs from a spreadsheet which stores all your passwords in plaintext, meaning if the wrong person were to find the spreadsheet file, they'll be able to open it and clearly see all of the passwords to your accounts.

The Benefits of Using a Password Manager Over Spreadsheets

Your passwords are encrypted in a digital vault

Encryption is when sensitive data is converted into an unreadable format, also known as ciphertext. The only way to read the encrypted data is when it's decrypted using an encryption key. In the case of a password manager, your master password is the encryption key.

It's crucial that all sensitive data is stored utilising encryption because it ensures that data cannot be read or altered by an unauthorised user. Keeper Password Manager encrypts all data in a user's vault including usernames and passwords, whereas spreadsheets don't encrypt any data.

Your passwords are encrypted in a digital vault
Sharing passwords is easier and more secure

Sharing passwords is easier and more secure

Password sharing when using spreadsheets is a risky practice that can make organisations more vulnerable to data breaches. Keeper Password Manager allows you to securely share more than just passwords. Employees can also share files and credentials with each other and third parties without ever having to expose usernames or passwords. They can also revoke access at any time or reset credentials when an employee leaves.

Keeper's One-Time Share ensures secure password sharing amongst employees who only wish to share for a limited time. One-Time Share is the most secure way of sharing credentials or files with a co-worker or third party without exposing information by using spreadsheets. The person receiving the One-Time Share doesn't even need a Keeper account.

Helps protect you from cyber threats

Utilising a spreadsheet to store passwords leaves organisations vulnerable to several cyber attacks, including but not limited to ransomware and Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attacks.

Since all users' vaults are protected with zero-knowledge encryption, even in the unlikely worst-case scenario of Keeper being breached (which we never have been), all user data would be unreadable by cybercriminals.

Helps protect you from cyber threats
Generates hard-to-crack passwords

Generates hard-to-crack passwords

Securely storing your passwords is not the only thing that companies should worry about. They should also ensure that all passwords being used are strong and unique. A password manager can aid employees in generating strong passwords that are harder for cybercriminals to crack.

Relying on employees to create their own passwords oftentimes results in password reuse or the use of weak passwords. This makes your company more vulnerable to experiencing password-related attacks – placing your company at risk of having sensitive data stolen and leaked. This impacts not only your business, but also your customers, since they rely on you to keep their information secured at all times.

Protect Yourself and Your Business with Keeper

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