Making Passwords More Manageable

The common issue that I seem to be helping with lately is Passwords.  I know…don’t groan, I will get you through this!

I have spent a lot of time helping people go through the process of re-setting passwords because they didn’t remember them and didn’t have them written down.  You know I don’t mind doing it, but I would like you to be able to save yourself the time and money.

Please, write down your user names and passwords and store them –separately from your computer–in a place where you can find them (and an intruder would not).  A file folder in a file drawer would be good.

If you change your passwords, for some reason, be sure to update the file folder.

If your children or grand children set up accounts for you, be sure they give you the login name and passwords for your folder.

Also, be sure your passwords are secure.

This past week, I received three emails from friends whose accounts had been hacked.  That means that someone figured out their passwords and was sending emails to everyone in their address books.

Not only is this a problem for them, but  their friends email addresses are exposed and they are at risk of being spammed.

Another issue is, if you use the same password for other accounts, you are vulnerable to the hackers accessing those accounts also.

So let’s get serious about passwords.

I know it’s inconvenient and I’m sorry we have to deal with it, but creating effective passwords and keeping track of them is a whole lot less work than straightening out the mess if you get hacked.

It doesn’t have to be an overwhelming, big deal.

Here are some easy solutions from my friend and favorite Computer Tech, Dominique Fruchtman of Desert Cow Computers.  See her website:  It moos!

1) For dumb stuff you don’t care about, make it something really easy, like all numbers such as 22223333.

2) To be more secure, substitute numbers for letters as follows:

1 = i
3 = e
0 = o
4 = a

Example: CAROLINE becomes C4R0L1N3

3) Or, use the first letter of each word in phrase you know well:  ‘Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers”…  becomes 4s&7yaof

4) Or, use a very old home address, (that hackers won’t find) with the numbers behind the street name.

Example:   Adams3201

Passwords that have a combination of numbers, letters, symbols, and upper and lower case, are harder to crack and the above are easy ways to accomplish that.  Also, they are easy to remember.  But write it down too.  Please!

Now you are all set and, hopefully, peace and joy have been restored to your computing experience.

If you, or someone you know, have other challenges or questions, just call for an appointment and I’ll “make it all better.”   ; )

In Joy,

“Restoring peace and joy to the world through computer education.”

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