This password manager post is presented by Dashlane.
Cult of Mac has made no secret over the past couple of years that it favors Dashlane as its official password manager. We decided to whip up a little case study to help explain why that is.
Stolen and reused credentials are linked to 81% of hacking-related breaches businesses suffer, according to recent research. Studies show employees use the same password in an average of 13 different places. And that bad habit tends to be more prevalent in small businesses than in big ones. Even worse, when small businesses fall victim to breaches, as many as 60% of them don’t survive the attack, CyberCrime Magazine wrote last year.
That’s some pretty serious incentive to increase password security, don’t you think?
Case study: Cult of Mac secures password-sharing with Dashlane
Beef up security, reduce hassle
Clearly, we turned to Dashlane a couple of years back in part to improve security. We’ll get more into the ways Dashlane protects us below. But bolstering security wasn’t the only reason. A good password manager like Dashlane makes life easier, too.
When Cult of Mac Editor and Publisher Leander Kahney decided to try Dashlane, the crew was at wit’s end over password sharing. We had several employees sharing multiple passwords insecurely, simply shooting them to each other via text, Slack messaging or email. We knew it left us vulnerable to password theft. But our bigger headache had to do with keeping track of passwords different people (mis)managed.
Relieve unreliable human password managers
One of our social media managers would occasionally lock everyone else out of one of our tools. It could be Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube — anything where we all shared one password. They had misplaced the password and needed to change it so they could access the tool and do their job. But then they might not share the new password with others. Predictably, when that person (or anyone who had taken ownership of one tool or another) went on vacation or left the company, we were sometimes faced a real hassle simply regaining access so we could manage content.
“At Cult of Mac, you never know when you’ll have to use social media accounts,” says Managing Editor Lewis Wallace. “One day you might find someone has gone cliff-diving or something. [Dashlane] not only encourages you to use better passwords, it enables you to share them easily.”
Create and share complex passwords securely, with credentials for shared passwords updated automatically
When Wallace refers to “better passwords,” he doesn’t just mean “better than 1-2-3-4.” He means the complex, unique, encrypted passwords Dashlane creates that no one could ever guess, and never the same one twice.
Generally, Dashlane helps you create such passwords everywhere you need one but requires you to remember just one — the one for Dashlane itself. More specifically, Dashlane allows users to create and store both personal and business passwords, payment info and secure notes in designated areas of the app. Then they can easily exchange passwords and information with others, with or without restrictions.
Dashlane’s Admin Console helps manage everything. As Kahney points out, the console makes it easy for him and Wallace to manage passwords for the whole Cult of Mac team.
“It’s super-easy to onboard people, share relevant passwords with them and revoke access if necessary,” he says. “The online console makes it easy to see if certain passwords are weak or have been compromised or reused. And you get a handy, overall ‘score’ for the entire business’s password health. It’s well laid-out and not cluttered. It’s easy to see what’s going on.”
The console also allows the creation of Groups, which makes sharing information and access to accounts easy. When a password is changed, everyone in the group gets the update automatically.
(For more detail on how Dashlane keeps shared passwords secure, read “Share passwords and sensitive data securely using Dashlane.”)
More protection: security alerts, virtual private network (VPN)
Providing secure, well-managed passwords isn’t the only way Dashlane protects Cult of Mac. It also sends our team security alerts if our passwords or other information is compromised somewhere online. Dashlane will notify us about potential problems so we avoid leaving a trail of digital clues online for thieves to find. Dark Web Monitoring is an additional feature. It tells us if our information shows up in one of the web’s seamier neighborhoods, so we can take action to protect our accounts. Employees can also use it to track which of their old email addresses may be compromised.
A built-in VPN makes our travels online anonymous. When we work remotely, it protects us on public Wi-Fi networks. It helps us sidestep malware and trackers. It also gets us around geolocation restrictions on streaming content. That way, one of us gets stuck in another country, we can still take in restricted streaming content (for work purposes!) by signing in from a U.S.-based server via VPN.
Price: Subscription options start at $5 per user per month.
Download from Dashlane: Get a free 30-day trial of Dashlane for Business