You’ve just decided this year you are going to start managing and growing your business’s online presence and reputation.
It’s been on your todo list for years. Online is becoming more and more important to your business. You keep hearing how important it is to have good reviews and ratings.
It’s time to do something.
You decide to start by logging into your existing profiles and listings so you can see where you stand.
But, if you are like many business owners you don’t have access to your accounts, profiles and listings.
Who created the listings?
Where are the usernames and passwords?
Which email address was used to create the account?
In many businesses the accounts may have been created by someone who is no longer with the business.
They may have left and not recorded the account details centrally or recorded it on their own computer using a spreadsheet that is now long lost.
Many businesses give up at this point, it’s all too hard. They lose that amazing momentum and enthusiasm they had and the business’s online presence remains stagnant.
This is often the biggest roadblock in managing the online presence and reputation of businesses.
What are the causes of lost login credentials?
It is so easy to do. You want to create a profile for your business on an online service, you are excited to get started and see how the service works and how it can benefit your business.
You create an account with an email address for the business. Quite often this is your personal email address at the business or even just a personal email.
You quickly create a password, maybe one you use all the time or something using a pattern you often use.
The credentials are stored in your browser and you continue to use the service while you get setup.
Maybe you go to a personal passwords spreadsheet and update it there.
Quite often the person may have left the business and the login credentials are gone with them.
If your business is not using business wide password management or a centrally agreed place and procedure to manage accounts then chances are the business will never know the credentials for this new account.
Why is it difficult to get access to your lost accounts?
The main problem with regaining access to your accounts is there are a lot of online services and each one has a different process to claim access to accounts on their platform.
Some of them will be quick and easy and others may require a protracted process to prove ownership.
In some cases there will be no way to gain access and the best approach is to remove the old profile and create a new one you control.
If the email address used to create the original account is on your business domain it may help.
Best Practices in managing your login credentials
You don’t want to face this situation again, if you go to the trouble of regaining access to your lost accounts your want to put a process in place so that business accounts are created and managed using policies and procedures that are centrally managed and understood
Some things that need to be defined are:
- Who needs to have access.
- Where are the credentials stored.
- Which services are credentials stored for.
- How do people access the business wide credentials.
- How do I update the credentials.
- How do I add credentials for a new service.
- What is the process when people leave the business.