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Keeping Track of Passwords

Updated on August 23, 2017
Cyber Savvy: Embracing Digital Safety and Civility
Cyber Savvy: Embracing Digital Safety and Civility

Sometimes the " Customs and Courtesies" of a community aren't apparent. Get cyber savvy with this book.

 

Options for the Not-So-Savvy

I'm passably tech savvy and like to keep my routine upkeep practices fairly simple. One of the biggest problems I find is that I have quite a few passwords to keep track of for social media, applications and other nitnoi. So, I thought I'd look around to see what appeals. What I found is included in the sections below. My criteria is:

1. Nothing that has to be installed.

2. Nothing that requires I keep anything written down.

3. Something that is user friendly.

4. Something that doesn't have ads that pop up on my computer.

5. It has to be free.

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Original Image from Morguefile, Photo Manipped by hub Author

Assuming you have more than one password to keep up with - How do you manage your passwords?

Not only is the upkeep of your passwords important, how do you handle updates?

The Ways I Searched For An Answer

I Just Know There's An Application Out There

My first research attempt was to do a Google search. I don't go too far beyond the first ten suggestions that pop up. I find that results become less relevant as I navigate down the list. Once things become less relevant, I change my search criteria.

One of the biggest issues is finding an application online that is highly recommended and meets my criteria. Many of the online apps are cloud based, thus potential targets for hackers (do they still use that word) and other cyber intrusions. Also, many of the programs which come highly recommended are in need of an install. So I devised my own method.

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Original Image from Morguefile, Photo Manipped by Hub Author

What's your trick to staying on top of passwords?

Using the Internet Safely For Seniors For Dummies
Using the Internet Safely For Seniors For Dummies

A little leg up for seniors out there who are also burning up the virtual hiking trails in the cyber world. Yep, go for it, but do so safely. This book will help you out.

 
Internet Security Fundamentals: A Modern Day Digital Survival Guide
Internet Security Fundamentals: A Modern Day Digital Survival Guide

Start with the basics outlined in this book to become an informed and secure internet user.

 

Reading Up On The Subject - It Never Hurts To Be Informed

One thing that is always a plus, is reading up on the topic at hand. Even if you can't go out and buy the recommended books, you can always try to get copies from your local library. Remember, when it comes to internet awareness, things change quickly and without warning, so stay abreast of what's new so you can stay informed.

Keeping Things Safe If You Make A List - Not That I Recommend This If . . .

If you have a living situation which includes multiple people, high visitor traffic or a roommate in residence, I don't recommend keeping paper copies of your passwords. A lock box in which you can keep your passwords and other valuables is an option but has a down side. Things with locks on them tend to attract the attention of the very folks you'd rather didn't have access to the box. They'll try to find a way in for sure. But, if you have to, here are some options.

Remember keys and combinations can be lost, forgotten or stolen.

Hiding from the Internet: Eliminating Personal Online Information
Hiding from the Internet: Eliminating Personal Online Information

Limited visibility online has a certain allure. Learn how with this book.

 
Image photo-manipulated by hub author. Original image from Morguefile.
Image photo-manipulated by hub author. Original image from Morguefile. | Source

Exploring the Elements of a Quandry

What are my options now?

I soon abandoned the search engine pursuit and brainstormed. My best brainstorms occur while I'm asleep, but in a pinch, I can manage a waking dream effort.

This is what I came up with. I keep a file on my computer with names of the social media I use and the substitute name or characters (five alphanumeric characters) I assigned to each account. I keep a printed copy in case my computer goes down and I need to access my various accounts from another computer. I then create a document with the substitute name, password and username. This I upload to my Dropbox folder. The Dropbox folder is only accessible to me.

Updates are easy. I just delete the file I've created and upload the current version.

Summing Things Up

The Washington Post has some interesting ideas on keeping track of passwords in this article, How to Keep Track of Your Passwords Without Going Insane. The suggestions are presented in two categories, lazy methods and advanced methods. One option that sticks out for me is to change the password every time. I don't believe that one is for me.

Sometimes the problem isn't keeping track of passwords, but rather, creating them. Here are some great suggestions in this area, Passwords Made Easier, on Real Simple.

CSO Online has some great suggestions in, How to Keep Track of All Your Passwords. I'm pleased to find a number of options that weren't mentioned above. RoboForm sticks out as the perfect option for me. I tried KeyPass before and it failed miserably by dumping all of my passwords after I had taken the time to enter them. I'll follow up with more information on how RoboForm works for me.

PC World is always a great place to get your inner geek on. With the suggestions above in this section and in the whole of this article, it only seems fitting to include a list of things to not do. The Wrong Way to Manage Your Passwords takes a look at a common practice that shouldn't even be a thought.


© 2014 Tanya Jones

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your visit. Please share your thoughts on the hub, the topic or some other related idea.

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    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @goldenrulecomics: Yes, goldenrulecomics, it's really a challenge to do so and securely. Different living situations require different practices as well. Thanks for taking a moment to visit and comment.

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      nicely done. It's so hard to keep track of all the passwords, isn't it?

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @evawrites1: Now that's an idea I'd not thought of, hee, hee. You're welcome. Thanks for taking a moment to visit and comment.

    • evawrites1 profile image

      evawrites1 4 years ago

      Thanks! I always forget my passwords, maybe I should have married a hacker to recover them for me :)

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @delia-delia: Thank you. My failing memory is one of the reasons I have had to devise a method to keep track of my passwords and such. Thank you, d-artist for stopping in to comment.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      I must say as my memory seems to fail me more, I'm forever forgetting my user name or password....very frustrating...I even forget what sites I belong to. Your suggestions sound great!

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @tfsherman lm: I'm not very creative in the password arena. Security questions are great, if I can remember the answers. Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 4 years ago

      Of course there is the joy of creating a new password. For some infrequently used sites, I just seem to do that over and over again. Here's to security questions.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @Alyssa DeBoer: Thank you, aaalyssadeboer, for stopping in and commenting.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @MVKilgore: Thank you, Mavric08 for stopping in and commenting.

    • MVKilgore profile image

      M. Victor Kilgore 4 years ago

      I need help in this area...good ideas

    • Alyssa DeBoer profile image

      Alyssa DeBoer 4 years ago

      great ideas!

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @John Dyhouse: Hi, artyfax. It never hurts to review and revamp as needed. Glad you benefited from the lens.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 4 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I don't have any concerns with security in my home since it is just my husband and I. If someone did break in, I wish them luck finding the folder with all of my passwords since I we have 2 file cabinets full of files and the folder isn't named anything obvious,

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @John Dyhouse: I appreciate your taking the time to comment, artyfax. Yes, sometimes the home guard is more effective.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      @Sylvestermouse: Now that seems like a great idea, like the security questions that the more secure sites pose when extra protection is needed

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      A major problem for many people, you have certainly set me thinking about my own "system"

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @KerryVor: Thank you, kerryv, for stopping in and commenting. I don't do that anymore. Alas, the ol' grey cells are old.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @PNWtravels: Thank you, VickiSims, for commenting. Sounds like you have a system that works well. Smaller households tend to have fewer issues with security in most cases.

    • KerryVor profile image

      Kerry Voronoff 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I just remember all of my passwords. It can be a daunting task but it works for me.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @Heidi Vincent: Thank you, FreshStart7, for coming by to comment. Hope you had a great Valentine's day.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @Charito1962: Charito1962, thank you for commenting. Your system sounds like it works well and is very secure.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      This is such an important but frustrating topic, Arachnea. Happy Valentines Day!

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I make sure I have a different password for the websites I regularly visit. I encode them in a Word document so I remember.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @susan369: I wish for the simpler days when I only had a handful of passwords to retain. I definitely agree more caution should be taken with sensitive and secure access over the more mundane.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 4 years ago from United States

      I would never trust having everything written down anywhere online or off. It isn't the people in my home that I would be concerned about, but the idea of criminals causes me to use hints to myself, as opposed to spelling everything out.

    • profile image

      susan369 4 years ago

      I only have a handful of passwords and I use a combination of those. Where security is not an issue, I just use the same standard password. Like signing up to get information, for example. Where payment details are concerned, I am a bit more careful.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @Sylvestermouse: Thank you for commenting btw.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @Sylvestermouse: I have considered the issue of a break-in or something. That would really be a problem if they figured everything out and were able to take the components to my secure password process. But, then, they'd have to know what it is first.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @Ruthi: Thank you for commenting, Ruthi. It's always great to get feedback. I guess I'm always planning for contingencies.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      Fortunately, I have no trust issues in my house with my roommate, so I keep mine hand written in a journal handy here at my desk.

    • Arachnea profile image
      Author

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      @takkhisa: Thank you for commenting. Many people do that. However, I always recommend taking precautions to keep prying eyes from seeing your passwords. That of course may not be your situation. Great minds think alike. I had a friend years ago named Takkhis. He was from Greece.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      I have a diary where I write down important passwords that I sometimes forget to remember.

    working