Passwords

7 Jun

Like many people I have issues with passwords for all of my banking, email and social media accounts.  I know the rules for passwords: 1) They should never be names or birth dates of pets, spouse, self or children. 2) They should be at least 8 characters long that don’t spell any normal word. 3) They should contain mixed capitals and lower case as well as numbers and special characters if allowed. 4) They should be all be unique and 5) They should be something you can remember but never write them down. It is my own fault that I have 24 of these accounts but still remembering that many is at best taxing. Just as taxing is creating that many in the first place not to mention the need to change one on the fly when required by the website.

Right now I have a mixed assortment of about 6 different ones. I thought I was okay until this last trip. I had a couple of sites that were always logged in on my home computer. They were ones I accessed all of the time so they are not on my backup list of sites and log ins (yes I have them written down.) On the road I used my netbook which had the bookmarked websites but not the log ins.  I tried three of the most popular from my list but they were not the right selections. The websites locked me out until I could provide proof of my identity such as when did I create my gmail account – day, month and year? I know that it was a class exercise when I taught Internet Basics but I couldn’t even remember the year! This created a bit of a problem because I had emailed my back up log in list to that gmail account. I did not need to be a rocket scientist to realize that there was a high price to pay for a lack of a system.

I considered using the same basic nonword words but using a different number for each site starting with 1 for the 1st site arranged in alphabetical order. It was instantly obvious that system would fail because I have problems remembering either all 24 sites and then getting the alphabet in the correct order. I am sure to miss one of either which would make a mess of the system.

At least I don’t use “password” or “qwerty” which seem to be very popular. When I taught at Wenatchee Valley College, all student passwords were their birth date and faculty passwords would be reset to the term and year. I often wondered how many reused that same combination?

A friend says she uses one password for all financial sites and another for email sites. That sounds like a manageable system. I took the time to organize my backup document with all of the sites in groups of financial, email, social media and video.  I’ve needed to expand the list twice because I forgot to add WordPress and YouTube video. I can see where logging in with a Facebook account could simplify the process although with three different Facebook accounts and access to a fourth, it would still be challenging. There are also the log ins for the Kindle Fire, netbook and laptop but I think I have all of them the same. I should probably add the same log in and password to my smart phone but I have enough issues just answering it if it ever rings without trying to log in first.

Now that I have assembled my list, I could start and the top and log in to change every site to the new system. Maybe I should wait a day or two to see if I really have all of them. I’ll need to take the time to go through the old Rolex on my desk to check for everything!

 

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2 Responses to “Passwords”

  1. gramajanJanice Clark June 7, 2015 at 6:54 PM #

    I write down my passwords and other log-in information–but only in a notebook, never on a computer, not even email. I remember a few I use frequently, but there’s no way I could remember them all. With nearly every site you interact with wanting a password, it would be a formidable task.

  2. compterteach June 8, 2015 at 5:20 AM #

    I know there are risks with the email but I do use a code that hints are the password without showing the password. I don’t use the name of a current pet but I’ve had a lot of them before I ever started writing. They are all fond memories.

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