As an agency that develops and manages communications, we often require access to our clients various existing channels, subscriptions, accounts, etc. Common challenges we have are that these accounts were often set up some time ago, or by people that are no longer part of that organization’s team, or the info was jotted down on a post-it and lost in time to the desktop shuffle. We don’t often realize how many things we rely on have online accounts until we need to know the log in credentials.
This is where having a good internal policy and strategy for managing this information can really come in handy and save you a lot of investigative work in the future. Over the years we have learned some great lessons with our clients that we would like to share.
Don’t rely on the post-it note method. Establish a secure method of storing and managing all of your log-in information. There are a lot of great services and software out there for everything from small to large businesses. Something as simple as a spreadsheet located on a secure server is a great place to start keeping track of your passwords. This is really helpful for things that you don’t use all the time and may only need to access every couple years or so. Like that website domain renewal that you’re not quite sure who set it up 3 years ago.
Create your accounts with the future in mind. Things change, people come and go, and sometimes it’s not on good terms. Often when someone departs, so does access to anything where they may have done set-up or been an administrator. So, when accounts are created, set a standard of having a user and password not tied to an individual or any personal accounts, email or otherwise. Make sure it’s something that IT or the business owner can get access to when needed. Having multiple administrators on an account is also a good way of assuring access, should things change.
For example, we had a client whose organization’s Facebook page was set-up and administered by a team member’s personal Facebook account. It’s standard Facebook rules that a company page has to be owned by a Facebook account. So, everything seems okay, right? Not quite. When that team member left, the organization realized they no longer had access to their Facebook page, because they had not set up anyone else in their team as administrators or created a corporate alias to own the page. The road to recovering such an account can be long if not impossible. Hopefully these tips can help you avoid the question, “The password is…?”
At Chartwell we help our clients with nearly anything they need. So, if we can pass on the little nuggets of knowledge we gain over the years, we are delighted to do so. Strategy and solutions are at the core of what we do.