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Keeping Track of Passwords

Updated on March 11, 2016
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?

I keep a notebook or a pile of little pieces of paper with my passwords on them.

I keep a notebook or a pile of little pieces of paper with my passwords on them.

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    • Ruthi 3 years ago

      I keep a daily journal of my online activities, right in journal books I create myself on Zazzle or CafePress. I write passwords on the inside covers. When my journal is filled up and I begin a new one, it is time to update my passwords and write the new ones in the new journal.

    • Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Yes I have a notebook which has many passwords, but the trouble these days is that you need to keep changing your password so it's got a bit messy, I need to get a new note pad and copy them over to it, great to have in your purse especially if you are out and using the internet.

    • Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      I keep a notebook, but I never spell out the passwords there. I just leave hints to myself that other people would never understand, even if they knew me well.

    • Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I have a tiny address book with them in it. When I travel, I tuck it into my bra.

    • Vicki Green 3 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I have them on paper in a binder - not exactly little pieces of paper and I write them in pencil so when I change one I can just erase and write in the new one.

    • Anthony Altorenna 3 years ago from Connecticut

      Guilty... I keep a notebook with unique passwords and user names. It's old school but it works.

    • Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      @Anthony Altorenna: Thank you, AnthonyAltorenna, for stopping in for a bit and commenting. A lot of people do. I suspect you're in good company.

    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.

     

    I have a more effective way - and secure too - it is . . . .

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      • James Jordan 3 years ago from Burbank, CA

        Well, maybe I lied a bit to get on the other side...

        I use my notes function on my phone and tablet. It syncs between them. I store them all on there. Only thing is if someone got that they would have all my info.... Now you know!

      • tfsherman lm 3 years ago

        I've created an online document I can access with a single password. Of course, I have to remember to add the new password to that document.

      • Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

        @tfsherman lm: Yes, and somewhere else safe as well. If you don't remember the password, you can't get into the document, right? Passwords can be tricky fellows. Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

      • evawrites1 3 years ago

        I keep forgetting them! Tell me what to do!

      • Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

        @evawrites1: Thank you, eva_writes, for stopping in and commenting. There are a few great ideas here besides my own.

      Internet Security Fundamentals: Practical Steps To Increase Your Online Security
      Internet Security Fundamentals: Practical Steps To Increase Your Online Security

      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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        • takkhisa profile image

          Takkhis 3 years ago

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

        • Arachnea profile image
          Author

          Tanya Jones 3 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.

        • profile image

          Ruthi 3 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
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          Tanya Jones 3 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.

        • Sylvestermouse profile image

          Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 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.

        • Arachnea profile image
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          Tanya Jones 3 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
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          Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

          @Sylvestermouse: Thank you for commenting btw.

        • profile image

          susan369 3 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
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          Tanya Jones 3 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.

        • Charito1962 profile image

          Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 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.

        • Heidi Vincent profile image

          Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

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

        • Arachnea profile image
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          Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

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

        • Arachnea profile image
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          Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

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

        • PNWtravels profile image

          Vicki Green 3 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
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          Tanya Jones 3 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.

        • Arachnea profile image
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          Tanya Jones 3 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.

        • John Dyhouse profile image

          John Dyhouse 3 years ago from UK

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

        • John Dyhouse profile image

          John Dyhouse 3 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

        • Arachnea profile image
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          Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

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

        • Arachnea profile image
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          Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

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

        • Alyssa DeBoer profile image

          Alyssa DeBoer 3 years ago

          great ideas!

        • MVKilgore profile image

          M. Victor Kilgore 3 years ago

          I need help in this area...good ideas

        • Arachnea profile image
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          Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

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

        • Arachnea profile image
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          Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

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

        • tfsherman lm profile image

          tfsherman lm 3 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
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          Tanya Jones 3 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.

        • delia-delia profile image

          Delia 3 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
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          Tanya Jones 3 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.

        • evawrites1 profile image

          evawrites1 3 years ago

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

        • Arachnea profile image
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          Tanya Jones 3 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.

        • goldenrulecomics profile image

          goldenrulecomics 3 years ago

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

        • Arachnea profile image
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          Tanya Jones 3 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.

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