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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Remembering Passwords




Everything, well, almost everything requires a password now. How can you remember all of them?

Passwords are really important. Now that so much is stored on servers or "the cloud", companies that create web applications password protect them so that you can have your own privacy settings.

Here is some advice about passwords:
  • Safe passwords have eight or more letters with one or more symbol or number.
  • Safe passwords should be difficult to guess. You should never use your birthday, the birthdays of your kids, the names of your pets, your street name, etc.
  • To keep your passwords safe you should change them regularly. This is especially important for any site where you use your credit card or do banking.
So, if you make your passwords difficult to remember and change them regularly how can you ever remember all of them? On the LastPass website it says that, "Collectively we lose more than 10,300 hours per year retrieving lost passwords, making new ones or talking to call center representatives about them." I know that I have contributed time to that total, not to mention the frustration of those situations.

TWO LEVELS OF PASSWORDS

Think of your passwords as walls that keep people out of your information. The first level of password must be extremely secure because it involves a credit card or bank account. Make sure these are unique and that change them often. The second level of passwords are less important. These are for sites that do not contain personal or financial information. It is less important to change these passwords on a regular basis. Using a series of words and changing them in a rotation can work for some sites. Some people keep a list of all of their passwords on paper slips somewhere that they can find them. This is better than not using good passwords, but it does leave a person open to the possibility of someone finding your passwords.
KeePass Website

One solution that some people are using is software that can remember passwords for you. There are many apps for the iPhone that have one password to lock up all of your passwords. The one problem with this is that you can forget the ONE password for the locker and not be able to access all of your passwords. In this case you will need to delete that account and start all over again with a new account and a new password.

LastPass Website
One other program that I am going to try is called LastPass. The nice thing so far about this program is that it works AS I use the computer. I do not have to enter all of my information. Once it is downloaded and I have an account every time I go to a site where I need to log in the Last Pass learns my login and username. After that when I go to the same site it will suggest the username and password that it has remembered. If that is correct I can just log in with one click.

I am only able to use this one for free with my one computer. If I want it to sync to my iPhone, iPad or other computers I will have to pay $1 a month to get that option. I am going to try a different one on my iPhone to see how it works. It is called Easy Passwords lite. It is free with options for more features if I choose to pay.

I am not an expert on this, so if you are reading this and have suggestions PLEASE put them into the comments. I want to learn and also to give correct information to readers.

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