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Good (and Bad) Ways to Keep Track of Your Passwords

Good (and Bad) Ways to Keep Track of Your Passwords

There are some good and bad ways to keep track of passwords. We’ll go over some pros and cons of each of the following ways so that you can pick which way will work best for your needs and security desires.

* Your Memory – Yes, this isn’t usually a great way. Even if you pick passwords you think you’ll remember, the truth is you will not remember. And if you did pick a poorly-developed password that you think you can remember, you’ll need it and forget it at the most important times. Plus, if something happens to you, what will your family or business partners do?

* Password Managers – This is software that keeps track of all your passwords and helps you with logins, some by providing one password for you to use with all systems and some by using other methods of identifying you to sign you in. This is the preferred way by most people who have many passwords to keep track of.

* Notebook – When you create any password, write them down in a password notebook that you then store in a locked file cabinet or safe. This is a great way and does work very well if you remember to always write them down and keep them up to date.

* Spreadsheet – You can keep a spreadsheet on your hard drive, in an external drive, or in cloud storage like Dropbox. The trick is to remember to keep it updated and delete old versions so that you’re not confused.

* Dropbox – Many people keep a file for each account they have in their Dropbox so that they can find the information when they need to. The trick is to remember your Dropbox sign-in so you can find the info.

* Sticky Notes – Some people love sticky notes and keep them all over their office with various passwords. This is a horribly inefficient and insecure way to keep track of your passwords, though, and can cause a lot of confusion.

* Password Conventions – This is a great way to develop passwords that you do not need to write down if you have the convention at least defined. It’s kind of like creating a secret code that only you can decipher.

* Browser Memory – This is not a great way to keep track but it’s probably the most common way that people keep track outside of thinking they’ll remember. When you let your browser remember the password, you won’t have to enter it each time you sign in. The problem is that sometimes browsers don’t update properly and you end up not being able to remember.

Keeping track of your passwords is an essential part of life today. How you choose to do it must be secure, as well as save time and frustration. What way works best for you?