Without realising it I have been using a variety of tools that are going to be extremely useful when I come to take my maternity leave. Thank goodness I had these tools in place!
You may not be going on maternity leave any time soon, but it's worth considering these tools for when you are planning a holiday or break from work, however long.
Tool #1 - Lastpass
Lastpass is a 'vault' for all of your passwords.
Do you ever find yourself having to reset passwords regularly and if/when you do you get told off for using a similar password?
Do you have your passwords written down in a notepad or on post it notes around the office?
Do you just settle for the same password for everything, aside from changing the last few numbers/letters?
With the recent news that Yahoo users had been hacked it really is worth reviewing how secure your online systems are, particularly as nearly all service providers have online access for their customers; from your bank to schools, you need a strong, secure and safely stored password.
What makes Lastpass so special?
Passwords are stored and organised in a 'vault'. You can organise all your logins into folders, e.g. family, work, school, banking, etc. You can also search for a log in using the search bar.
Generate new passwords and audit your current ones. If you're not sure of the level of security your password is giving you then you can run an audit on your passwords. Lastpass will highlight easy to crack passwords and give you the chance to change them. On top of this you can get Lastpass to generate a password, saving you time thinking of new ways to use your pet/child's name in a unique way!
Manage multiple logins. This is fantastic for me - my Lastpass has 8 Google logins; one for me and the rest are clients. With Lastpass I can switch between logins easily, without having to refer back to my notes on usernames and passwords.
Why is this tool going to help me prepare for absence from work?
I'm definitely going to have my hands full in a couple of months - with no concrete idea of when I will be returning to work, Lastpass is going to be my saviour when I do need to log back on.
As long as I keep a note of my 'master password' for Lastpass I won't have to keep a written log or remember all the logins I need to access not only business systems but also personal ones. However long I am off work I won't have to worry about logging back on to start work again.
Other reasons for Lastpass
If my laptop is stolen, misplaced or breaks I can log on to Lastpass from any other laptop and access my logins. My recent purchase of a new laptop was a great test of this. As soon as I logged on to Lastpass and installed the Google Chrome Lastpass app I was back to work immediately! No waiting to log on to specific systems so my laptop could remember them.
As a VA working with multiple clients (hence multiple logins), I've already mentioned how amazing Lastpass has been for me. As well as working with current clients, when closing projects or clients Lastpass has also meant I can confidently inform my clients that I no longer have access to their systems. I can use Lastpass to share with them the logins I had and then I can delete them from the 'vault'. As additional security I will be asking closed clients to change their passwords; being able to delete multiple logins all in one go saves me loads of time.
You can share your 'vault' with a colleague or family member! This is great as a back up in case you are unwell or unable to access a login in an emergency.
If you're still not sure about using an online password system then do some research, take a look online at the reviews and the reasons for and against how you store your passwords now compared to Lastpass or similar systems. You need to think of the best solution for your requirements. Lastpass has been fantastic for me, as I'm sure it will be for you but with all tools and systems available you need to find what works best for you and your needs- so do your research!
So, that's tool #1! Lastpass: my hero when it comes to logging on after a break!