Passwords seem to be taking over every single technology resource these days. Phones, emails, online utility accounts, online banking, keyless entry systems…the list goes on. It’s a burden not only to remember them but to update them. What does that mean? Well, sometimes a basic account for something as simple as a telephone requires you to change and update your password every 90 days. Not only that, the complexity of the password is necessary, making it more tedious to come up with one that is easy to remember.
Information is stored behind data security to protect us from theft but can leave us locked out. One way to protect yourself from someone using your passwords is to NEVER save them on a computer or phone but to simply remember them all, as they are required. Avoid texting or emailing them to trusted family members or to yourself as they can easily be found this way and fall into the wrong hands. This is easier said than done when remembering more than a dozen numbers mixed up with letters and special keyboard characters. Some sites will allow you to save your profile when using your own computer, phone or tablet. This is a safe option to consider for information that is of no use to thieves. However, sites such as banking, social services and other online tools should not offer this convenience. When faced with remembering complex passwords and account information you can try to come up with a personalized convention that is altered for each account since using the same password for everything will leave you vulnerable to thieves as well.
Treat your passwords like you do a set of keys – don’t leave them anywhere! My personal choice is to write them down on ONE piece of paper in my house. I even know someone who uses an old A-to-Z address book. You can even store them under your mattress. The important point is that there is no electronic version of the information. As you update your account, update your password list and keep it safe. When the inevitable happens, such as needing a password when you’re away from home, you simply need to remember ONE password – your email. For each forgotten password, a recovery system should be offered to have it sent to the associated email address. You can then log into your email, follow the new password instructions and update the account. And when you change the locks on a door, you change the key on your keychain. Update the locked away piece of paper or address book once you get home.