For the longest time, I had the bad habit of creating usernames and passwords for different websites that I visited thinking, “This password is easy enough; I’ll remember it.” And for the first two or three, I did.
Then I started jotting them down quickly while I was creating them, only to misplace or accidentally toss them later. A lot of us at this point get frustrated and opt for the ‘easy way’ of using the same username and password for everything.
Not a safe choice, by the way. Once someone figures out your one and only password, they have access to your entire digital life! Aside from that danger, I discovered that not all websites would accept my password. Some require a certain mix of letters/numbers/characters, and I found myself having to add a couple of digits to the end of my password here and there, complicating the system again.
So I posted the question on a forum, “I need an easily accessible, yet private and secure way to organize all my usernames and passwords. Any ideas?”
Forums are amazing! Here are some of the ideas people had:
** Keep them as part of the bookmark for the website its used for: example; LL Bean – Eva12345 (it’s not real – don’t bother). Of course, this method is only good on a very secure computer.
** Keep them on an Excel spreadsheet or Notepad document with an innocuous name for security. You can also type in password hints for yourself instead of the actual passwords.
** For added security, keep the Excel file is on a jump drive instead of directly on your computer. Some jump drives even allow for adding password protection, so all you have to remember is the one password for the jump drive and you’re set!
** Keep them in a small spiral tablet, notebook or address book. That way it can go in a purse or pocket to be used on the go.
** Store them in an address book or Rolodex file. Just enter the passwords alphabetically by business name or website.
** Tape a ‘cheat sheet’ with all your passwords in a hidden place near your desk. Just make sure to tell one person you trust ‘just in case…’
** You might also want to check into Passkeep.com, KeePass.info, or RoboForm.com for some free downloadable software that keeps track of them for you. I chose RoboForm and I love it! All I have to remember is one master password to be able to access all the rest. And the software fills in the info and submits it for me in one click – Pretty nifty!