What’s the best way to create and keep track of passwords?


What’s the best way to create and keep track of passwords?


We are all overwhelmed with passwords, and a password manager might be a good solution for you. As the name suggests, a password manager helps you easily create, store and remember passwords. Many of them are both a website and an app, so you have access to all your passwords regardless of what device you’re on. Many of them are free. In most cases, you set up an account by providing your name, email address and a “master” password to enter your digital locker. Often times people worry about what would happen if their phone or tablet would get lost or stolen — wouldn't the criminal then have access to all their passwords. You need not worry about this, as your device has to be unlocked first — that is, a person would first need to know your PIN or password — and then guess your master password, too, which is highly unlikely, unless you make it easy like 1111 (please don’t use that). And since you can log on to your password manager from virtually any device, you can log in from another machine and change your master password — just in case.

If a password manager doesn't seem like something you would be willing to try, I think two-factor authentication is a good solution as well. Two-factor authentication, is a security process in which the user provides two different factors to verify themselves to better protect both the user's credentials and the resources the user can access. So it could be you need to enter a password for the first step and then answer a secret question for the second step.



*Part of the Ask the Expert series with Amy Nofziger on Identity Theft and Cybersecurity Scams, October 2019. Learn more tips and/or share your stories in our Scams & Fraud forum.



I tried this some years ago with Norton; something happened and lost all of my info. So learned a good lesson to just write it down in a log book that I made up myself.

You can do this yourself by using a spreadsheet (like Excel) to save the passwords on your PC and just password the file (which is saved locally).  I do this myself and only have one password to remember (the password of the Excel file).  Of course, I back up the password file each month to a USB key so I have a copy in case my Windows PC goes South. I also email a copy to my cell phone for an additional copy for use on the phone.

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