How to Password

Graphic with little black book

“Perhaps luck exists somewhere between the world of planning, the world of chance, and the peace that comes from knowing that you just can't know it all." Stacey from the movie, “Little Black Book”

The Little Black Book

Back in the day, a little black book was kept to secure special numbers of those special people you wanted to stay in contact with. Wherever you went, it went. Today, most keep those numbers on their phones locked away with a password, making your device’s password one among many. Keeping track can be daunting. Unless you have a photographic memory, you just can’t know it all. Peace of mind will only come if you are proactive in managing your passwords.


Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe

Passwords give entry to our virtual multi-dimensional world. Would you lock your door with the key inside your house or car? Nope. Nor should you lock them away solely in your computers. Passwords protect more than a single physical asset. They spider web into bank accounts, investments, social status, encompassing our private and business lives. Not safeguarding your passwords correctly will affect other people as well.

The intelligence community teaches one major behavior when it comes to passwords, don’t trust anyone, especially yourself. Passwords should be kept under lock and key, too, as redundant as that may sound. The Wizard Gandalf from Lord of the Rings said it best, “Keep it secret, keep it safe.”

For most people, it is near impossible to remember all the passwords they are responsible for –the average user has over 90 passwords to contend with and over double that for business users. Perhaps Gandalf should have added, keep it simple, too. Organization is the key to not crossing that fine line between a password manager and password hoarder. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Go old school- The little black book has a real chance at a comeback here. Under different tabs, gather together all your banks, social media accounts, kids accounts (yes you should have access to ALL of them), entertainment (Netflix, Hulu, Redbox, etc.) government (tax ids, PINs, etc.) and a miscellaneous. Then, keep it safe. But what if the inevitable happens and, oops, you dropped it down a gutter or just simply lost it? Back it up with an electronic copy.
  2. High Tech: Excel or a similar program is an obvious choice and should be used as a back up to number one. Use the same categories lined out above. Bonus: you can require a password to unlock the Excel spreadsheet. Also, if you have a secure email, send your password spreadsheet to yourself and update it as needed. This way you will always have access to your passwords.
  3. Apps. Yep, there is an app for that. Type in "Password Manager" into your app store search engine. There are multiple apps available for free.

Note on Password Generation:

Most entities that require a password will want a combination of capital and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using whole words or easily guessed numbers. Don't assume you aren't important enough to be a target for electronic theft. Statistically, those who hurt you, know you. If you are stumped as to what password to create type in “password generator” into your internet search engine. This will populate your screen with calculators that can automatically generate an insanely difficult to remember password like dO*BTQO8Ukmn.

When you choose to be proactive with managing your passwords, you won't have to rely on luck to remember them. Besides, the first trait of genius isn't knowing it all, but knowing where to find the information you need.

How do you manage your passwords? Leave your comments on our Facebook Page @UnionWireless.

Contributed by Angelica Mecham