Password Safety for Meetings and Events

Internet security for conference planning

We work with a lot of organizations that have departments or committees that are involved with the day to day planning of conferences and events… Pretty common. So common in fact, that if you are reading this post, you are probably a part of some group that has some part of producing some type of event.

Maybe you are involved with a conference, perhaps an annual meeting, or it could be that you are the rare and elusive incentive program committee member (I have not seen one of those in the wild in a long time!). Regardless, we are all here for the same thing and that is a little event planning know-how.

As part of a group like this, I bet you are familiar with emails or conversations like this… “Bob, can you email me the password to the website, I need to update the registration opening date” or “Hey Sally, can you please send me your login to the registration system, I need to to see if Becky registered for dinner” or maybe even “Hi Roger, what is the bank username and password, I want to make sure all of that sponsorship money, the registration funds, and bake sale cash is going into our account”.

Should this sound like snippets of something that you have heard before, I truly hope that it makes you cringe. I know that it makes me duck and cover like a bunny in a bomb storm because organizations that share passwords like this are putting their accounts, their reputations, their attendees, their sponsors, their stakeholders, and their very existence at risk…

Think about it, if you get hacked because of Bob’s carelessness, you are going to be in the crapper before you know it and there is not one attendee or member on the planet that will ever forgive an association that loses their data because someone emailed a username and password while sitting on airport wifi in Moscow and beyond the member or attendee rage, there are insurance companies, compliance people, law enforcement types, and a lotta bosses who kinda frown on losing attendee or member personal data because of stupidity.

Look, we all know that passwords and usernames are a pain. They truly are. I get it. But you have to be vigilant and you have to stop sharing them. You also need to stop using p@ssw0rd as a password too because the bad guys have programs that will chew that up and spit it out in about 19 minutes even with that cute little @ and that tricky little 0. Don’t believe they can crack it that fast? Go and check… We can wait here.

So what do you do? A lot of things! You have options. I would say never share a password but we know that is never going happen because many services either don’t allow for multiple users or charge you through the nose to add another person and we all know that associations are not gold stashing, hundred dollar bill burning, cash cows… An extra $49 per user, per month hurts the bottom line and we are all about saving you some moola…. Sooooo, people are going to share. You can also have everyone start using passwords like *hH998ejvkgk(*&HFHF$$$)0 but poor Dan down in HR can’t even remember where he parked his car and the parking lot only has 10 spaces….

The best option is to get a Password Manager that works.

The tool that we use at Camp Plannerwire and i3 Events is LastPass. LastPass was the inspiration for this post because when I got their latest newsletter in my inbox, this infographic got me thinking about sharing of passwords and now here we are… This cool little piece of arty information they have created will show you all about passwords and what happens when we share them with friends, colleagues, and countrymen….

Happy reading. Remember, bad people want your attendees and members info, don’t give it up that easy.

Meeting Planning Password Safety

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