An Educator’s Guide to Password Management
Today, teachers are living in the virtual age. Like it or not, virtual learning has become the norm. Many school districts have embraced 1-to-1 computing, as well as virtual learning platforms such as Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and many more. Additionally, traditional brick and mortar teachers integrate web-based apps into daily lessons to increase student engagement. On top of an already full workload, teachers now have to remember passwords for all of these accounts. With all of this in mind, it is human nature to use (and reuse) easy-to-remember passwords.
As a former career and technical educator with 15 years of teaching experience, I taught digital citizenship and online safety, but my methods were not as secure as I believed. I used a browser-based password manager because it was convenient. I reused my usernames and passwords for many of the online tools I used throughout the school year. When I occasionally had to change my passwords, I cleverly added the next number in the sequence to the end of my password to keep it “secure.”
As I honed my skills as a teacher, I incorporated more and newer technologies, devices, websites, and apps into my daily routine. With each new tool came another login I had to remember and I frequently changed passwords due to forgetfulness. It wasn’t until I imported these passwords into a Bitwarden vault that I realized how many I had! To my astonishment, I had accumulated over 200 login credentials over my teaching career. Once all of my information was in the vault, I was able to create strong and unique passwords for every account, close unneeded accounts, and ensure my virtual identity was secure.
According to Cybernews, “weak passwords are a real security threat.” So many people still use weak passwords such as “123456” and “password.” Is this you? If so, your data may be vulnerable to attack.
Strong and unique passwords are required to protect your sensitive information. Using a password manager solves this dilemma. A password manager is a computer program that allows users to generate, store, manage, and autofill credentials for all your online accounts.
Browsers, such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, and others have integrated password managers. Some operating systems even have their own password management or "key chain" options. Using an application or operating system specific tool can leave you without your important passwords when you least expect it. A robust, dedicated, cross-platform password manager ensures you have a strong and unique password for each account you use - and any device on which you need it!
Bitwarden is a dedicated password manager providing security for teachers accessing programs, applications, and online accounts using robust credentials. Bitwarden stores your credentials in your vault so you don’t have to remember each one. Your private data is encrypted on your device and only you have access to it with your username and master password.
Teachers employ multiple devices in the classroom and Bitwarden is available to keep school-related accounts safe on all of them.
Best of all, Bitwarden offers a full-featured free version across all devices for everyone. The free basic account allows for unlimited passwords and other information such as credit/debit cards, identity information, and secure notes.
Bitwarden also has affordable plans for families, teams, and large enterprises like schools or school districts. Visit the Bitwarden Pricing page for more information.
Now more than ever, teachers need to take ownership of their digital lives. The first step is using a password manager to create secure credentials for all of your accounts. Practicing good digital citizenship is a task for students and educators alike. Teachers, here’s your homework assignment - sign up for a Bitwarden account today!