Keeping Track of Passwords
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.
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.
Original Image from Morguefile, Photo Manipped by Hub Author
What's your trick to staying on top of passwords?
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.
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.
Becoming More Cyber Savvy. Here's a list of links for blogs and articles with a focus on doing just that.
- Internet safety - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Learn the lingo of internet jargon to better navigate the information highway on the subject of internet security.
- How do I increase the security of my wireless network? | Help | BT Business
Nowadays so many people use a wireless network in their homes for ease of access to the internet by their family members. Here are some tips to make yours more secure.
- 6 Tips to Improve Internet Security
Here are six steps to improving your internet security and keeping your online accounts, banking details, and other information as secure as possible! Do not be the next hacking victim on the internet!
- The Cultural Impact of Blogs: Awareness, Affinity, Reflection - IR Blog
Does the internet affect culture? I argue that political (science) blogs can increase awareness and create a sense of community across borders.
- Becoming a Cyber Savvy Parent
Internet safety for your kids starts with you, the parent.
- IR Blog - Ideas & Ramblings about International Relations
A blog about International Relations both in theory and in practice, written and edited primarily by PhD candidates.
- 15 of the best Internet security blogs | Digital Threat
Fifteen recommended blogs for further information on being secure on the internet.
- Raising Cyber Savvy Kids Who Can Spot an Online Predator | McAfee
Keeping your kids safe by keeping you the parent and your children informed
- Computer Online Security Tips and Virus Protection | McAfee Blogs
Catch up on the latest online security tips. Stay Informed about the latest computer security news and virus protection trends with McAfee Blogs.
- Simply Security News, Views and Opinions from Trend Micro, Inc
Simply Security News, Views and Opinions from Trend Micro offers breaking security research and threat news that impacts your life everyday.
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