If you aren’t in the habit of saving your passwords, start now and you’ll thank me later.
All I do is keep them in a spreadsheet (tip: it’s not named “passwords”).
My spreadsheet has a column for the internet site, the login name, the password and a column for notes. Cut and paste the entire URL (with http://) into the spreadsheet and Excel will save the site name as a link. You’ll then be able to click on the URL and go right to the web site.
My spreadsheet is also password protected. The spreadsheet’s password will be the only password you’ll have to remember. The rest are saved in the spreadsheet for you to look up any time you need to. I have a LOT of passwords, so I list the internet sites by categories like banking, email, social networking, et cetera (also see Too Many Passwords? for an easy way to create passwords that you’ll remember.) This tutorial will help you create password-protected documents for Excel or Word.
What Makes a Good Password?
It’s important to use secure passwords. Ideally,you should also change passwords regularly.
- This article describes how to create secure passwords.
- This safe Microsoft site will let you test your password to see how “strong” it is.
- Google’s advice for strong passwords.
Public Computers and Laptops
You may not have heard of keylogging, but if you use public computers or wireless technology, a criminal could access your data by capturing your keystrokes. Follow the link to learn more; however, one of the first two suggestions may be all you need to do:
- Invest in a good flash drive, like any of Kingston’s which offer urDrive. If you browse the internet from urDrive your internet activity will be completely protected because it all occurs on the thumb drive.
- Install KeyScrambler on your laptop. It’s free encryption software.
- This idea could work in certain situations: purchase a fingerprint reader. (For instance, I found this reader which can store up to fifteen fingerprints if your office has one computer for multiple users.)
Also, if you are on a public computer, be sure to logout of a site after you are finished. Points 1 and 3 assume that you’re willing, or able, to put a flash drive in the USB port of a public computer. (I’m not completely sure how I feel about doing that, because of viruses, for one. Anyone want to weigh in on this?)
Also, do you have any password suggestions to share? (I had a password-protected spreadsheet for our Christmas gift shopping. This security measure wouldn’t have worked if the kids had just looked in my closet!)
- Too Many Passwords? (How to keep track of multiple passwords.)
- Above image available at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Password.png