“I’ve forgotten my password AGAIN. Is it the one with the number or the one with the question mark? This is killing me!” Is this your life? Our guest blogger Zenobia Millet, a.k.a. “The Tech Diva”, is an expert on how to handle password overload and has tips for learning to manage all your zillion passwords.
* * * *
Password inundation — we all suffer from it! The number of times we have to create passwords when we surf somewhere new — shopping sites, news sites, entertainment sites — just to access what we went there for is exasperating. And some of us do not want to use our Facebook, PayPal, or Twitter passwords to log in to unrelated sites because we don’t want intermingling between apps. So…we write them down of pieces of paper — you know how those end up — or we think we can remember our own attempts at cryptic codes.
Every time we upgrade our software on our computers, tablets, and smartphones, we have to re-enter user IDs and passwords, so oftentimes we’re slow to make critical updates because we don’t take the time to find them. And changing passwords regularly? You know you should, but it just doesn’t happen.
One of the biggest mistakes I see is domain and website owners not obtaining their user IDs and passwords from the person or company that signs them up. When those people are hard to reach, or disappear, or even try to sabotage the domain or website, the owner has an almost impossible task of getting access. Worse yet, they may be told to pay a high ransom to get their access restored. I’m brought in to try to fix the situation. And sometimes if there is no cooperation, the client has to literally start all over again with a new domain name — even a new website if they didn’t have a back-up copy of the website files. Ah, the money and time…!
Now, we’re all really, really concerned about security. And it is kind of scary to trust a person or an app with our personal or business confidential data. But at some point in time, yes, we have to take the dive and wrangle in all of these passwords together and get them organized in a place where we have good access but can also feel confident about security.
How do you create a strategy? You can start with just two (yes, two!) easy steps.
- Think about how to categorize your types of passworded access: utility accounts, banking, mortgage, shopping, and social media, for example. Make a list of what password features are important for each category (e.g., number of characters, special characters, etc.). Make new passwords to fit the categories.
- Resolve to use a password management system, and do some research to find your best match. This Tech Diva has delved into this realm for you already. You can check out my tips for planning, selecting, and implementing your customized system in my video: What’s That Password Managing?