anna-drennanAnna Drennan is Product Marketing Manager at Dashlane, leading password manager and digital wallet. With Community Manager Appreciation Day on the 26th of January, she’s sharing advice to community managers on how to best handle their account security and has a special gift to make that even easier. Learn more below! 

If anyone understands the pain of managing different online accounts, it’s a Community Manager. Start with logins for Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, WordPress, Forums, and more. Multiply that by countries, brands, or even different customers. Then pile on top management tools from Hootsuite right through to Mention. That adds up to a whole lot of passwords.

But the pain of passwords runs much deeper than the frustrations of logging in. Every community manager will be familiar with policy guidelines designed to protect these communities for brand and customer. But what’s the use of all these measures when the keys are kept under the front doormat (or Google sheet), figuratively speaking?

We know a thing or two about passwords at Dashlane. As the gatekeeper to customer communities, here are four rules you can follow to keep them safe.

1. Use strong, random passwords

We’ve all come across the ‘weak password’ message when registering for a new site, and been prompted to add in another exclamation mark. If you ever wondered why, there are some numbers that can help.

An eight-number password has 100,000,000 different permutations. That might sound like a lot, but it takes a computer only three minutes to crack. Eight alphanumeric case sensitive characters? 218,340,105,584,896 potential options and 14 years to find.

Many of us are guilty of breaking the strong password rule for another reason than just their complexity. We actually enjoy linking them to something we can remember, even something personal. But the only way to truly protect your brand is to make passwords as random and meaningless as possible.

2. Give each site its own password 

Now you’ve got one super secure password setup, it’s tempting to simply use it everywhere. But when a breach happens and someone pinches that password from just one site, you lose your key to every door. Use the same passwords across your work and personal accounts, and you put your communities at even greater risk.

Protecting each account with a unique password is the only way to prevent a total security breach should one get out.

The community manager’s job makes this part really hard with so many different accounts to keep track of — unique random passwords for every site will outstrip the memory capabilities of even the sharpest mind.

So to save all those passwords…

3. Use secure, shareable storage

You’ve got a long list of strong, random, unique passwords. Of course you can’t possibly remember them all. They’ve got to be saved somewhere so that not only you, but a whole bunch of other people can access accounts as soon as they need to.

If you keep passwords in a Google doc or even in your browser, you’re not alone. But if someone cracks into your insecure store, all your hard work to generate unique passwords comes undone. The only way to keep this kind of attack at bay is to use an encrypted data format.

If that wasn’t motivation enough, a shared doc in the cloud doesn’t even tick the convenience box you hoped it would. These are notoriously poorly updated, which could mean you find yourself locked out of Twitter the next time you…

4. Change passwords, again, and again

You’ve documented all your strong, random, unique passwords in a secure place. But it’s important to change them regularly to account for any unsuspected leaks. “Now you’re asking too much!” I hear you say?

It’s true that good security is either impossible or thwarts productivity without the right tools in place. Businesses need to account for the password problem that extends beyond the brains of their community managers and the tools they already have in place. A password manager is the missing piece of the puzzle in an online business world. 

Stick to security rules without bending over backwards

Community managers using Dashlane can generate a unique strong password for each website, share them securely with government grade encryption and update their team instantly when regular changes are made at the click of a button.

So to celebrate Community Manager Appreciation Day taking part on the 26th of January, we’re offering our own token of appreciation to Community Managers with a year’s free access to Dashlane Premium.

There’s nothing left standing in the way of good security for your communities.

Anna Drennan is Product Marketing Manager at Dashlane, leading password manager and digital wallet. Say hi at @annadrennan.

Be in the know 📥
Sign up for The Mention Memo

Get the latest and greatest digital marketing
+ social media tips every week!