Track Passwords, Usernames, and More

Track Passwords, Usernames, and More

By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

The proliferation of online activities: banking, bill paying, purchases, organization memberships, professional societies, and more, makes it impossible to remember all passwords and usernames. How can you remember them all? How will anyone be able to find this information to help you if you are absent or ill? What if you're uncomfortable recording them on an Excel spreadsheet in case your laptop is lost? Here's an approach that meets the KISS (keep it simple stupid) principal. Print each web page when you next use it. This will have the web address, the name prominently listed and other data. Note the password and user name on the copy. File them in a loose-leaf binder with alphabetical index tabs organized by website, vendor or company name. Store them in a secure place your family knows about.

A common peril is the universal use of one password for all accounts. While this makes using accounts easy, it is dangerous and can make you vulnerable to across-the-board identity theft. Once a thief attains one of your passwords, he or she will likely try to use that same password to access your other accounts. Prevent the damage that can be done by using separate passwords for every account you have. Having a binder system will help you keep track of your different passwords and avoid the problem of forgetting which password goes with which account.

Also, remember to periodically change your passwords for the same reasons as above.

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