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Tips and tricks for dealing with, remembering all those passwords

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 3/9/20

Over the past 17 years working as a computer tech, I’ve learned almost everyone hates passwords! It’s usually the most annoying thing about using computers and technology. Every online service you have an account with requires a password. Plus, over the years they have required more complex passwords, too. But here I share some tips and tricks for dealing with passwords: 

If you forget your passwords: If you have forgotten a password, first check any place you write down passwords. If that doesn’t help, maybe try a few guesses at the password.

But keep in mind some websites will temporarily block you for some time after so many wrong guesses. Next, I suggest resetting the password.

Most websites have a forgot password option on the login screen. Those typically email you a message with a link where you can set a new password or some text your cell phone a code that you enter onto the reset page.

If you do reset the password, right away ensure you save it in your web browser or write it down if you keep a written password list. Otherwise, you might have to reset it again in the future!

Safely save your passwords: Most web browsers allow you to save your passwords. After you log in to a website, you might be asked if you want to save the password.

If you save it, then in the future the username and password should be prefilled and you just hit signin or the enter key. If you ever want to see the actual password that’s saved, some sites have a show button to reveal it. Otherwise, browsers like Chrome and Firefox allow you to bring up a list of all the passwords you’ve saved.

There are some security risks in saving your passwords on the computer, but I believe this is OK for most websites. I do not suggest saving passwords for very sensitive websites though, like your bank or other financial websites. I strongly suggest getting yearly checkups by a computer tech though to ensure your computer is secure with good antivirus and other security practices.

If you use a web browser like Chrome or Firefox, you can also sign in to the browser to enable syncing of your passwords among multiple computers or mobile devices.

That way you have all your same passwords on all devices. Again, there are security risks here, but I believe they are acceptable as most browsers require two-factor authentication before a new device can be synced with all your passwords.

Write down your passwords:  If you don’t have a good password list saved by your web browser, it’s a good idea to write down all your passwords in single spot, like a notepad or address book. I suggest trying to put them in alphabetical order by the website or company name.

Remember, if you ever reset or change your passwords, update the written list! There are some security risks in keeping a written list of your passwords so I would store it in a relatively safe spot and not out in the open for visitors to freely see.

Use a universal password scheme: You’ve probably heard it’s not good to use the same password on multiple websites, but that makes remembering them very hard. There are many tricks to help create secure but easy to remember passwords.

One way is to create your own scramble code or scheme.

For instance, maybe use the same beginning for all passwords, such as AbC123. Then for the ending put the first and last letters of the company name. So, for Google you’d use AbC123ge, for Yahoo you’d use AbC123yo, and for Amazon you’d use AbC123an. Of course, you’d want to use something more complex than my beginning. Get creative and create something complex but easy for you to remember.

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