David Papp Blog

How to Manage Your Passwords

These days, we are bombarded with online memberships, email accounts, and other applications that require you to create a username and a password. We have so many that it’s easy to forget your passwords. But there are ways to remember and mange your passwords without clicking the “Forgot your password?” link.

It is important to know how to choose a good password. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters no more than eight characters long. You should also mix uppercase and lowercase passwords that are case-sensitive. Avoid using common words or phrases and numbers that are associated with your birthday, phone number, or Social Insurance Number.

Reusing the same password for all of your accounts may seem like an easy way to remember your passwords, but this method is far from safe. If thieves hack into your account and find out what your password is, they will use the same password to access your other accounts and personal information. If it’s easier for you, you can use the same username for every site. Also, if you choose to write your passwords down, keep them locked up.

Develop a password system so that you can memorize your passwords. Using a combination of numbers, special characters, and some elements from the names of the websites, you can create passwords that are unique and memorable without having to write them down.

Selecting the option to remember your password for particular website browsers, such as Firefox and Internet Explorer is a simple way to manage your online passwords. All you need to do is click “Yes” when you are asked if you would like your browser to save and store your password.

Using password management software is also an effective way to remember your passwords for more than just the Internet and for added security. These types of software are more versatile and can come pre-installed on your computer, like Apple’s Keychain. What works best is to try out a few different ones to see which software you’re most comfortable with. Above all, keep your passwords safe and remember to change them at least once a month.

25 thoughts on “How to Manage Your Passwords”

  1. I definitely have a system to my passwords, which I will not reveal for my own safety, haha. Let’s hope none of you figure that out and compromise my security, but I believe you’d be sadly disappointed in what you’d find anyway. Using the same password for everything was a mistake I made as a teenager. I learned my lesson when my Myspace account was “hacked” at school and people edited my profile in a very disparaging way. Don’t let that mistake happen to you. Be smart people!

  2. I admit, I sometimes fall victim to using the same password for many of my sites. I think though another easy way to keep track of all your passwords, is to create a blank excel spreadsheet. On the sheet, type in the website then your password. By doing this, you can create very difficult passwords, and it will help secure your information.

    • Should the situation become so severe to warrant a spreadsheet, I wonder if everything’s worth the trouble. Beside, what really is the risk of getting “hacked” when we already knew that was a risk the day we started using computers and the world wide web? In the end, nothing is safe in this world anymore. What’s the different between username and password and lock and key. The more primitive way might even be safer.

    • If you’re using iOS and OS X services you can always use iCloud Keychain from now on which Apple has released. It sounds like a pretty solid method in my opinion.

  3. Actually passwords managing is really important because a lost password causes lots of trouble. So thanks for sharing this great how to on passwords.

  4. Thank you for the advice– I’ve been using the same password for many years for everything I have (shakes head in shame) and I’m quite used to typing it out for everything. I do realize that it’s safer if I have different passwords for different programs, and that I change my passwords regularly, but that really does seem like a lot of work. Thanks for sharing; I’ll keep this in mind!

  5. I’ve had to get a system for my passwords. For work, we have to change our password quite frequently, and we can’t change it to one we’ve used before. Now, when I change my work one, I also change most of my other common ones using the same system. For less frequently used passwords, though, I use a different system where I modify a password depending on the site it’s used for. I think I’ve only forgotten my password once or twice, and haven’t been hacked yet!

  6. Very useful advices, David.

    I can’t believe that people still use their dates of birth, the names of their wives or their dogs as a password. It’s just not secure.

    Of course it is more difficult to keep track of your passwords when they are a bit more complicated but this way you feel safe!

  7. I like to avoid password storing software. Also steer clear of the browser remembering your password. All these are huge weak point for hackers who make it into your computer. The better bet is to make a hand written list stored in a safe. If that is inconvenient, then write a word document and name it something that you will remember. DO NOT name it passwords. Be sure to make it something inconspicuous. Last but not least, don’t allow your computer to track recently opened documents. This way every time you open the file it is not on record for easy access.

  8. It’s really hard for me to memorize stuff, that is why, I admit, I’ve been using the same passwords to so many sites for quite a long time now. Doing that means I could easily access multiple accounts without ever having a headache caused by figuring out passwords. Thanks for your post, anyway; now, I know that what I’m doing is not really good and safe, and it’s high time for me to change my password-ing routine.

    • Ditto. I do use Chrome’s password management however I’ve been slacking off with having unique passwords. I’m still mostly remembering passwords from memory and I should rely more on checking my password where it’s being managed. Firefox has good password management since it can also ask for a master password before showing you all the other passwords you’ve saved.

  9. I tend to use the same passwords, although much less frequently than I used to. But it is so easy to give in to the desire for simplicity and convenience. So I have to remind myself that getting hacked would be very, very inconvenient!

    I have found that interspersing number sequences that have personal significance to me — but would be unrecognizable and meaningless to others — has helped somewhat. Obviously no birth dates or anything that obvious.

    But for the really important ones — bank accounts, Web hosting, etc — I use a strong password generator. There are many free ones online.

  10. I have defiantly fell for using the same passwords for many sites. I think I should be changing my password to different ones so in case if one of my passwords get found all of my accounts do not get hacked.

    • I admit I still do that but only the same passwords for websites that aren’t that much important for me.

  11. Great post! I’m always vigilante about protecting my passwords and always put in a lot of thought when choosing a new one.

    It’s especially tough since I keep changing them every few months. These password management systems sound very useful, thanks for suggesting this!

  12. I follow all the advice listed above, apart from changing the password every month. I know it would be better if I did it, but knowing myself I am pretty sure this would lead to a big mess. I have a system of creating passwords – but I’m not sharing ,lol! I’ve never used a spreadsheet like someone above sugested, but I do have a secret notebook XD

  13. Pretty great article, as like someone else stated above, I too tend to use the same passwords for a lot of things. I will definitely start managing my passwords better, such as changing them every month or so. This will certainly keep me safe since if someone found out one of my current passwords, I would be in big trouble.

  14. I normally keep documents that hold my password information, to a point. Like, I’ll list the service it’s for and then put in the first letter and last letter/number and leave the rest of it in asteriks. That way, I can figure it out if I forget the password and people can’t look at the doc and figure out what my passwords are.

  15. Personally, I use different passwords for every website I visit. And the interesting part is I don’t write passwords down, I have them stored in my brain. Although, it can be tasking sometimes to remember a particular password I use for a site, especially websites I don’t frequent that much.

    Well, my method of creating passwords for website isn’t definite. But, I make sure the passwords have special characters, numbers, alphabets(small and capital letters). I believe the safest way of storing passwords is to use your brain.

  16. I used to use the same password for everything but learned not to before anything happened to any of my accounts, it may seem hard to think of different passwords but it pays off to remember them

  17. I use almost the same passwords for all of my social media accounts. I’m not much concerned about those accounts anyways but when it comes to my bank and email accounts, I make it habit to really push my passwords to the limit.

  18. I am going to look into password management software. I often forget my passwords to sites because I try to make unique ones every time. I write them down but that doesn’t work too well as the papers get shuffled around. Thanks for the tips!

  19. When it comes to passwords, I like to use password management software.

    I’m partial to lastpass, which is a browser add-on that remembers passwords, and offers the ability to generate secure, long, random passwords on the fly. It also allows for passwords to be synched accross multiple devices, so I can put it on all my computers. That sounds somewhat sketchy, but it seems that lastpass has been implemented in such a way that even the folks over at lastpass itself don’t have access to the passwords.

    Has anybody had any good or bad experiences with password management software? Any other good trust-no-one managers you use?

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