I know passwords are a big nuisance. If everybody would “play nice” we wouldn’t need them. However, until the world has been totally restored to love and peace, we need to get a grip on passwords.
If you use the same one for everything and someone figures it out or gets access to it, they will try your other accounts and may cause you a lot of grief.
So, DO NOT USE THE SAME PASSWORD FOR ALL ACCOUNTS, PLEASE!!!!
Here are a couple of solutions: Think of a phrase that you can associate with an account and easily remember. It could be a line from a poem, a song, a quote or a book title, etc. Use the first letter of each word in the phrase instead of the words themselves. Add in a number or two and a symbol like #, or @ or !. I worked with one clever client this week that used the number 0 for the Os and 3 for the Es 1 for the Ls. Really a neat idea!
I know they say not to write them down, but do it anyway. I can’t tell you how much computer tutoring time is wasted, trying to figure out forgotten passwords. Just don’t store the list right next to your machine, where a burglar might find it. If you want to take the list on vacation, hide the identity of the sites that the passwords belong to, by using abbreviations. This sounds like a lot to do when you read it, but actually you only do it once, and you will avoid a heap of stress and wasted time later.
If somebody figures out your email password, they can log in as you and send bad emails to everyone in your address book. If they are able to change the password, you will not be able to get in and you will have to abandon that account and start all over with a new one. That means getting all your friends to switch to your new email address and, even worse, having to tell them that somebody they don’t know has access to their email addresses. So it you won’t take my advise for yourself, at least do it for your friends.
Another option that I like, is a free application called Last Pass. It generates mega-secure passwords and stores them in a vault on your computer that can only be accessed by a master password. I use it and love it. It may be too involved for some of you, but I’d be happy to show you how it works so you can decide.
In any case, take a few minutes to get organized with the password thing, so we can spend our tutoring time on more fun activities…like learning new productivity tricks and playing with new gadgets.
In peace and joy,