I’m an internet denizen. I live online. I do email from my cell phone. I read blogs constantly. I’m plugged in as much as possible and yeah… I’ve got a freaking bajillion websites where I need to remember usernames and passwords. I have four online financial sites that I need access to and over the past week I’ve been struggling with some way to keep the vital passwords without just using a text file on the desktop.
Realistically I know that the text file is pretty safe, and if the house is broken into there’s a lot of other stuff which thieves would be distracted by, but I still needed some system.
Well after hanging up with one financial institution and recovering the information I needed. I figured it out!
I use an accordion file to track important files, documents and financial statements. Now I drop a 3x5 card in the file with the login and pass on it! Simple!
So, how about you guys. You have any breakthroughs in terms of organization? Any facesmack Duh moments? Any tips to share with fellow dopers?
I use something like 5 different password families, and that’s counting my ATM code. One family for work (this family changes at each job); one family for banking (my bank’s “general” password has to be the ATM code); one family for “throaways”; one for my email and one for webpages where I’d actually give a damn if someone broke my user.
I once wasn’t sure which of a family of passwords I had used as my e-signature 8second password) at my bank. So I called their customer service and asked “instead of sending me a new password, can you just tell me the length of the current one?” She consulted with her boss, the boss said yes and I was in.
Years ago, I worked at an organization which required us to change our login password monthly, so I incorporated a word and a date - for example “pass0198” would be the first password for January, 1998. In Feb, it would become “pass0298” and so on. I thought it was right clever of me, and as long as I knew what day it was, I could log in.
Then they got sneaky on me, requiring upper case, lower case, numbers, and special characters. Plus we changed quarterly instead of monthly. Dang! But a little creative thinking helped - using $=s and @=a and deciding to reserve a specific block of letters to always be uppercase, I could use my same serial approach with minimal brain taxing. Till they required that 4 characters minimum be changed every time… But I managed to come up with a logical way to make that happen and make it easy for me to remember. I least I think I did - we’ll see what happens Tuesday when I go back to work.
For my personal email accounts, I don’t bother to get that complicated. I have a base password that I alter with numbers, so I just need to remember which number goes with Yahoo and which goes with Hotmail, etc. Online bill payments all pretty much have the same number - what am I worried about - someone hacking my account and giving me a credit??? <snerk>
Where I work now, we’re allowed to email ourselves a document with our passwords on it, as long as we use the network with the highest security level. That way, we just need to remember its password and we can access the rest.