Remember Passwords

We’ve written alot on this blog about remembering passwords. Aside from coming up with a safe password, it’s probably one of the most important things when striving for safe password management. As you may have guessed by now, we recommend coming up with unique sentences containing a variety of words, characters and numbers and then reducing that sentence to a password by converting the first letter of each word to a character in the password. Please note, that you can convert any part of the word into the character for the password.

“Mary had a little lamb” can be converted as follows:

  • Mhall (using the first letter)
  • Ydaeb (using the last letter)

Now, for a real password, you’d want a longer and more complex password. See the safe password post for some tips.

So, what are some other tips for remembering passwords?

1) you could try to commit all your passwords to memory. This is feasible if you only have a few passwords to remember.

2) You could store them in a password protected file on your computer. Now, that would depend alot on who else had access to your computer. You would not want to do this if others had easy access to your computer. I used this method successfully for years.

For example, if you constructed a simple password protected excel file (now, how would you remember the password to open this file?) on your computer with the following columns. Note the order of the columns… you can copy the username, click on the link to the password protected page, paste in the username and then come back to the file for the password (it will save a step having the columns in this order if you use the tab key).

storing passwords in excel screenshot

storing passwords in excel screenshot

Please be careful if you use this method b/c you’ll want to make sure the file itself is secure with a good password and that the computer isn’t open to hacking. You can put this file on a jump drive and take it with you if you wanted.

3) You could purchase a product such as RoboForm which is a type of password manager. There are three flavors of password managers:

  • Desktop software for storing passwords on a computer hard drive.
  • Portable software for storing passwords and program on a mobile device, such as a PDA, smart phone or as a portable application on a USB stick.
  • Online password manager where passwords are stored on a provider’s website.

RoboForm is the third type in the list and it allows you to keep all your logins completely in sync whether you are on your desktop, laptop, netbook, or mobile device and you can access RoboForm Password Manager from anywhere. Please visit their site to see if this product is right for you.
(Yes, this is an affiliate link)

4) Another approach to remembering passwords is to simply rely on your browser’s settings to store your passwords for you. I never do this for important sites b/c if somebody had access to my computer, they could simply login to any of the services where I’ve stored the username/password within the browser. I’m not a big fan of this approach to remembering passwords.

5) Or, you could go old school and buy an Internet Password Organizer which is a hard-copy notebook of all your usernames and passwords. This is fine if you want to lock this away in your file cabinet when not in use. I’d prefer to use a password protected excel file over the hard copy version just for ease of updating and convenience.

 

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