If you needed to log in to any of your business’s online accounts right now, do you have that information on hand? It’s fine to have it in a securely kept notebook or file that you can access at any time. If, however, you have to contact your “Internet person” or “social media person” to retrieve your logins and passwords, you have a major problem. If you as the owner or manager don’t have a copy of this information, you’re putting your business at risk.
We’ve encountered this problem way too often when getting started with new clients. Simply gathering the logins and passwords, sometimes from third parties that no longer work with or for that business, has become a labor intensive task in and of itself.
This is not a good situation for an owner or manager to be in. At best, this means your social media, website and other online listings aren’t being updated. At worst, this means someone could easily post damaging things, delete information, hijack or shut things down completely. Here’s an all-too-common scenario:
One of the first things we check when taking over an existing Facebook Page is to check the list of admins and other roles. It is concerning how many times we find ex-employees with full admin access, sometimes for months or years after they had left the company. By doing this, you are putting your company’s reputation on the line. We’ve found it next to impossible to claim or reclaim a Facebook Page that was created by an personal account without access to it, leaving businesses to start over with a new page. In this situation, the original page remains up and running, still showing up in search results and drawing your customers in, with few ways for you to redirect them to your new page. Simply put, it’s a mess.
Of course, you also want to avoid the same problems with any of your online accounts, including social media, search engine listings, websites, hosting, company emails, domain name registrars, etc. Make sure that all logins and passwords are available to owners and managers who will one day need them–don’t let one employee or contractor keep this vital information to themselves.
There’s no problem with entrusting someone to create your accounts and keep track of all of the credentials, but make sure you have a copy of them.