It's the start of a new month. You've decided you're finally going to start using that Twitter account you started when your business first opened. You attempt to log in only to get the dreaded "Incorrect password. Try again," message.
Does this sound like something that happens to you way too often? In today's world of usernames and passwords, it's no wonder that we have trouble keeping up with what password goes to what account. Sure, you can use the same password for every account, but that just makes it easier for hackers to access your important information. Instead of letting you struggle with keeping up with your passwords, we are not only giving you some tips for keeping them organized (and secure), but we're also giving you our FREE downloadable password organizer!
Okay, okay. I know this seems obvious, but stay with me. Don't just write them down on random sticky notes or pieces of paper (I may or may not be guilty of doing this). Purchase a dedicated password notebook. Write down the username and password for all of your accounts. Date it. And then change them every so often, either marking out the old password, or getting rid of that password altogether. This will allow you to create super secure passwords without having to worry about forgetting if you put an asterisk. (Or was that a hashtag?) It will also keep them in one location. Just make sure to keep this notebook in a secure location to prevent someone from seeing them who shouldn't.
Almost every time I enter a password into a new account, Google asks me if I want it to save my password. It's so convenient. Just click, "Okay," and the next time I'm ready to log in, my password is already there. The trouble with this is, you're always logged in. Anyone can access your account from the device it's saved on. Which makes it even easier for hackers to access those same accounts. Don't just set it and forget it. There will come a time you will need that password, but won't know what it is. Even keeping all of your passwords in a Spreadsheet or Google Doc isn't the most secure. If you want to digitally store your passwords, consider using a password keeper such as LastPass. These are secure "vaults" for your passwords that let you store the passwords for all of your accounts in one place, but you can only access them with a single master password.
Have an interesting hobby? An office plant named Ernie? Use these as a generic password base and then add your own touches to create secure yet easy to remember passwords. You could use the first few letters of a name, add in a couple of numbers, then a symbol or two and suddenly you have a very secure password that is easily updated. For example, Ern22)#. You can even change up the capitalization of your letters, or the positioning of the numbers and symbols. This is a great way to turn something you are familiar with into a password that is difficult to guess.
Passwords are important. Creating and storing them shouldn't be a burden. We hope these tips will help you keep yours organized, whether it is for your business or your personal information. Don't forget to download our handy Password Organizer so you can make remembering your passwords as easy as 1-2-3!
Jamie Woods is a writer and Social Media Specialist with Atwill Media. She has a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from Arkansas State University with a focus on advertising and public relations.
When not working, she enjoys life with her kids and husband.