By: Steven Aldrich ~ First Coast Computer Services

In my business, it is unusual that a client has all of their passwords documented, up to date, and handy. Typically, the client and I spend about 20% of the time on a service call figuring out or resetting passwords.

There are passwords to log on the computer, update the operating system (Windows or Mac), email accounts, and any number of websites. It is truly a cornucopia of passwords. Keeping all of them written down (or stored in a password keeper) and up to date as they change, is of paramount importance.

Some folks use the same password for everything, which is not a good idea. It may be easier to remember only one password, but way too easy for the bad guys. When big companies like Yahoo and Equifax are hacked, and millions of account passwords are stolen, it is trivial for the bad guys to hack into every account a person has if the same password is used for all accounts.

Here are two ways to tame the password problem:

1) Use an address book with the A through Z tabs. Leave a couple of lines between each entry, because your passwords will change over time. Strike through old, and date the new ones as they are added.

2) Use a Password Keeper. I use LastPass, but there are other good ones. I pay $26 per year, and LastPass synchronizes to my iPhone, all of my computers, and my tablets. So, I always have access to my passwords.

It is also a good idea to document the answers to any “Security Questions” you provide when you set up a new account and password.

If you have a notebook of passwords, and there are random scraps of paper stuck in it, and it is not organized by name – I would suggest that you spend the time to use one of the two suggestions above. BUT FIRST, test each password before you enter it into your new and improved password repository.

Let’s tame the Password Cornucopia in time for Thanksgiving!

Steven Aldrich is a technology advisor with decades of experience as an IT Director and is the owner of First Coast Computer Services. Contact Steven if you need a trusted advisor to come to your business or home and help with your technology. See my ad on this page. Steve@fccspro.com or (904) 479-5661.