How to Keep Passwords Safe

Advice on How to Keep Passwords Safe

With the advent of the Internet and various websites requiring passwords to allow you to access them as well as companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Samsung etc, etc which require a login to do just about anything even now in using your computer, the issue of how to keep passwords safe and how to store these multiple passwords has reached pandemic proportions.

You may not like what we here at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service are going to say but please bear with us. There are multiple programs that you can buy and download, (some may even be free), which allow you to keep your passwords safe and available for use over multiple devices. Programs (apps) such as Dashlane, 1Password, Lastpass to name a couple do that for you. There may be advantages to you to use these services as they can generate passwords and remember them for you, as one master password accesses them all. They are said to be kept on encrypted servers that are “almost” impossible to hack. We’ve probably all heard about them and some of us may have tried them, right?

Paper and Pen!

There is a very simple alternative, however, that is the use of pen and paper. What you cry “pen and paper” in the digital age? Yes, pen and paper are simple, safe and only you know where they are stored.

Our suggestion is that you purchase a small notebook from the newsagents or similar and record all your usernames, passwords, date of birth, mobile number, landline number and all other relevant information including the date when added or changed. This helps you keep track of when you changed a password or updated a password or other information. Do, however, make sure your writing is legible and neat as well as using the correct case for letters. Your “doctors” scrawl is not going to help anyone decipher your spider’s like information in the event that you cannot assist them.

So, use CAPITAL letters where applicable, lower case letters where applicable and numbers and special characters as required. Special characters being the characters above the numbers on a keyboard (such as @ # $ * etc) or generally to the right on a keyboard (such as { : ? > etc). This differs of course if you are using a tablet. Make sure that you also do the following:

  • Zero’s (0) should have a diagonal line thought them differentiating them from O
  • Z z zeds should be differentiated from a number 2 by putting a line horizontally through the middle of them in European fashion
  • 7 sevens should also have a line horizontally through the middle of them in European fashion
  • Make sure the number 1 is defined as a 1 and not mistaken for a letter l

It may be opportunistic to avoid some of the above anyway so that there is no confusion.

Hide Your Written Copy

The problem here is your scrawl, which when misinterpreted, can cause an issue as many websites only allow 3 or so goes at a password and then the account is either locked for good or you are timed out from trying again for a number of minutes or hours. So making a mistake on a password is not advisable as it can lead to a lot of pain and anguish. Believe me, I have only experienced this a million times with customers.

Many customers I have met over the years are completely blasé about passwords and seem to think that they don’t matter, they do, so be smart and keep yours safe and updated.

Keeping a written copy of your information is safe as long as you keep that information hidden, you can give a copy to a relative or friend or even keep it in a safe somewhere. But, don’t forget to update that information when required or added to for new accounts or programs. Do it straight away so that you don’t forget.

Don’t Try to Keep Passwords Safe on a Mobile Phone

I know many customers who keep their passwords on their mobile phone which in our opinion is dangerously unsafe as you could lose your mobile or get it damaged, stolen or waterlogged. If that does happen, then all your passwords and information is either irrevocably lost or badly compromised.

Don’t Try to Keep Passwords Safe on a Word Document Unless On a USB or SD Card

Another popular way of keeping passwords is on your computer in a Word document, or such, with the title “passwords”.  Not a good idea as whilst it can be updated quickly and easily done to, you could be hacked one day or the computer/device is stolen and then you realise just how important all that information was and how irretrievable it all is.

We would recommend using the aforementioned as a way of keeping your information safe and correct but NOT keeping it on your computer but on a USB Drive or memory SD card and then keeping that in a safe place, locked away? When a change is necessary or something needs to be added then it is easy to retrieve the removable device, plug it back in and record the changes, save the file/document and eject that drive and store it away again.

Have Different Passwords

Finally advice on how to keep passwords safe would not be complete without advising that you do not use the same password or combinations of the password for multiple accounts or websites as a hacker once they know your “root” password can then add another number – such as 11, 12, 13 to your password until they crack it, or similar such differences. Having different passwords, we understand is painful and possibly problematic but this is very important so as to keep you safe and secure in our digital world.

If you require assistance in the above or anything else to do with computers, then please contact us here at Affordable Computer Repairs and we can endeavour to assist you.

How to Keep Passwords Safe