Safety First: Password Management Best Practices for Dealerships

In today’s world, managing an endless stream of passwords is a fact of life and business. Here’s how you and your employees can take steps to build stronger passwords:

Begin with These Password Essentials

Password management requires building unique, complex passwords that can’t be easily guessed. Start with these three best practices:

  • Make them long (aim for at least 10 to 12 characters, but 16 to 18 or even 20 is better)
  • Avoid using common names, places and dictionary words
  • Use a random mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters along with numbers and symbols

Try Turning a Sentence or Phrase into a Password

Creating strong passwords is one thing, remembering them is another. To give your brain a break, consider a sentence or phrase you can easily recall. Then, combine that approach with the tips from above — by spelling out the phrase with letters, numbers and symbols. For example:

  • I use to live in Wisconsin = iu$ed2lIvNW!
  • Summer rain clouds = suM3rra!nclwdZ

Give Your Memory a Fighting Chance

If you want to harness the power of a memorization method, apply the PAO (Person-Action-Object) method to your password creation. With this method, you visualize a person, an action and an object, then create a story. For instance, if your words are:

Person: Tom Hanks
Action: reading
Object: coffee

Then the story would be: Tom Hanks is reading with a coffee. Once you have the story down, create a password using the tips from above, like THnxRd!ngcf3e.

Don’t Reuse the Same Password

Using the same password for all your devices and accounts is the virtual equivalent of putting all your eggs in one basket. One data breach could put all of your information in jeopardy everywhere you’ve used that password.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Many sites and services have added additional layers of security to help protect users and avoid account breaches. Depending on the site, it may email or text a code to confirm your identity every time you log on. By enabling multi-factor authentication when possible, you can add another barrier between your personal information and cybercriminals.

Sign Up for a Password Management Service

Another way to keep track of your passwords is to sign up for a password management service for your business. These services encrypt and store your passwords for you and even generate random new passwords when needed. Here is a list of password managers we recommend:

Generally, these solutions require a single master password that allows each user to access their stored information. Using one of these services for your business can help you get all of your employees on the same page with password security.

Security is the Foundation of Customer Trust

The final piece is to make sure your whole team is following these best practices. Your business is only as secure as your weakest password, so make sure to distribute best practices and regularly remind team members to update and refresh their secured logins.

Don’t Miss Out on Updates: Subscribe to Our Weekly Open Road Email

Stay up-to-date on the latest industry insights and news for your dealership. Get all the essential information delivered straight to your inbox, and be the first to know about tips that help improve the inner workings of your dealership. Sign up for Open Road today!