Friday, March 13, 2015

I’m Having a Password Attack

I have a sheet of paper with all of my passwords written on it. The list covers the entire front of the sheet.



Sure, you may try to use the same password for everything, but then you come across a site that has crazy requirements that none of your standard passwords cover.




So you end up with 8 different passwords, 10 usernames, and the complete inability to ever get into any of your accounts.





At one time, we had to remember the phone numbers of every friend and family member we had. So why can't we keep all our passwords straight?




How do you keep up with all your passwords?

77 comments:

  1. I do what you do, but a few months ago, I did rewrite it and put it in alpha order to make it easier. My problem are the security questions........you'd think you don't need to keep track of those answers, but I've had loads of trouble coming up with the same answers I gave before!

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    1. I know--and it's usually case sensitive--so not only do you have to remember what your first job was, you have to remember if you capitalized the first word of it!

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  2. That last one is a good idea - password is incorrect.
    Fortunately, I'm not on a lot of social sites or shop that many places, so I only have twenty or so to keep track of. I have them written down on a sheet of paper like that and no, I don't remember most of them.

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    1. I have personal passwords, passwords for various WordPress accounts I have to use for customers, passwords for financial sites where customers pay me instead of just using PayPal, passwords for places I regularly buy things, passwords for my website... (Sigh!)

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  3. I have them on paper in code... text them to myself and email...plus I have everything password protected so that if I am somewhere else I have to generate a code... lol ... it's not like I have secret info but I don't want anyone perusing it.♡

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    1. I knew an IT guy who kept all his passwords in a password-protected spreadsheet on his computer. He swore it was safe...but I guess that would depend on the strength of his password. Those hackers got celebrity pictures by guessing their passwords... That's the biggest mistake people make. They don't make their passwords strong enough.

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  4. I write them down but not all on the same page. If I have to access an account, I have to go search for it. It's reaching the point of insanity.
    Good to know, I'm not alone.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. I keep my sheet next to me. But if I'm on my smartphone away from home and a password has to be entered, that means I have to wait until I get home to get into that account!

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  5. now that is a secret ... but i do have a way ... a very smart way that works for me. i wish you well on figuring out a way that works well for you. i know the news says don't keep them on your computer in a file named "passwords". ha. ha!! ( :

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    1. I know! If someone is going to keep them on a computer, they should use a password manager like LastPass. I've written about that one a lot and it seems to be the most secure of all of the cloud-based password managers. Better keep up with your LastPass password, though, or you're in for a world of hurt!

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  6. I hate passwords, plus I have a garage door code, my son's garage door code, phone numbers, SS#, home security code number, gym locker combination and my wedding anniversary to remember. It is not to bad except when I go on vacation, if I don't use these passwords and security numbers I forget them all.

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    1. When I worked in an office, it was out of control. I was freelancing on the side, so I had all of the passwords for clients I was keeping up with, plus passwords for work, PLUS access passwords for my home alarm code, lock code on my phone, etc. Luckily we had a key card that got us into the building with just a swipe or I might have lost my mind!

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  7. I constantly live in fear that one morning I will wake up with memory loss and all my access will be gone :( Blogger once cancelled my blog for a day because somebody tried to break into it and from then on they send me a code each day to my mobile phone and only I can enter it even if somebody steals my password :) Of course, this means that CIA knows where I am in each moment..... It's a conspiracy, sister, I tell you....

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    1. That will happen for sure!!! I got locked out of Yahoo Mail back when it was a nightmare to get into it. They'd send your password to an "alternate email address," so you had to remember which email address you'd use. I had a Hotmail account and a work account and neither of them were getting that password! It's not like you can just call customer service on something like that. (At least you couldn't at the time.)

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  8. Oh goodness I need some advice on this as I can't keep them all straight!!!! Happy day you!!! Nicole xoxo

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    1. Sounds like none of them can. You could try LastPass--seems to be the one the experts recommend. I write a lot of high-tech articles and that one comes up in my research as the best.

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  9. I'm an organized person but when it comes to this? Ha! Nope. I swear I'll remember all the extra numbers and letters and I never do so I always have them email it to me. Sometimes I really wish there were an easier way!

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    1. It's not safe to use the same one for everything but if you don't, you have to keep a list somewhere. We can't just keep all that rattling around in our brains!

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  10. I have a system that so far has worked; I have one password for secure sites like bank, amazon, that type of thing; another password for all other sites. For my work computer, we have to change the passwords every so often for unlocking the computer, getting into the program that I get my work from, and the time card we punch in and out of. That is the same password but every time I change it, I just add the next number up. Its a great system for me. However, hubby's work requires you don't use the same combination of passwords so he's always having trouble with what is what when he has to change them. I did panic when we were moving because I was afraid for the 2 weeks I wasn't working that I would forget my passwords and my ID numbers for work so I did write them down (I didn't, but at my age, one never knows :)

    betty

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    1. Yep--every 60 days. And it had to be one uppercase, one lowercase, one special character... UGH! Yet when I'm writing for businesses on "how to keep your network secure," that's the top tip I have to give: "set strict password policies." The top way people AND networks are hacked is through irresponsible password behaviors by the people on them...so that's why life is a nightmare for all of us!

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  11. I have multiple for many sites and all are memorized in my head. For useless sites that need a log in I have one but I vary it with different numbers and such, so I may have to try a few times to log in lol

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    1. I have that too--one default with many, many variations. But then you don't know which hoops the site made you jump through. Capital letter? Special character? Number? 10 letters or 8 or 20? Ugh!

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  12. We use a address book in the desk drawer; we write down the address of the site, user name and the password. The password is in pencil, with the date it was created. When someone changes a password, the erase the old one and put in the new one.

    We also have a bit of a scheme: a default password for unimportant access, alpha-numerical passwords (+ characters, if necessary). Sometimes, we change all the important ones to names from songs, books or movies - your favorites are a great source of inspiration....like SF52Roses.

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    1. LOL that last password's a good idea. I haven't used any of my own book titles in even one password. Even though the first two had numbers in them, so they would have worked perfectly.

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  13. laughing at the pie chart and the last 'incorrect' one. :)

    i typed up a word document with sites, usernames and passwords, printed it out, and every time i have to update them, i scratch in the new pw. about once a year, i print a new list. yeah, probably not that safe if anyone ever stole the laptop, but...

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    1. You can password protect that document to make it safer. It's not your computer being stolen as much as someone hacking in and getting them.

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  14. How funny...I was just trying to figure out my Twitter password this morning on the back of my address book where I've scribbled and changed them for years thinking I must organize these so I can read them. I got frustrated yesterday because my bank sent me a new debit card with a different number and now I'm required to change the pass code I've had for years and go into my accounts I use it on to pay bills and change the number. I need to start all over and write out a sheet with pass codes I can read and remember. :)

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    1. We're all getting new cards because of EMV, which stores are required to switch to by October. Instead of swiping your card, you'll "dip" it, which I think means the machine will suck it in, read it, then spit it back out? (Again, a subject I know WAY too much about from writing about it for clients!) My bank sent one with the same numbers, which was nice, but they'd changed the expiration date by ONE MONTH. So I still had to update my credit card everywhere I use it online.

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  15. Stephanie, I too write down my passwords on a sheet of paper. Even then, at times I forget the password or misplace my sheet. And if by chance I make changes in the password, I forget to makes the changes in the sheet, and then I have to write to the site admin for a new password :(

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    1. The sheet is always next to where I work all day. My husband said, "What if you lose it?" I said, "Where's it going? It's right here all the time!"

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  16. There are some sites that I can no longer visit. The other part of this is change your email address and you can no longer reset your password for some sites and that email address doesn't work anymore. It's frustrating beyond belief.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I had a Hotmail account for a couple of years and Hotmail is no more. I didn't even try to set up a new account when it became Outlook.com or whatever it is now. I think there are some sites I probably can't get into but I guess we can register for a new account? Which would suck if we had old information we needed from it!

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  17. LOL! I hate when systems ask me to refresh my password every 3-6 months. I get a little bug-eyed because I can hardly remember the password to begin with!

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    1. Or when you get that email that your account may have been compromised? Apple now notifies you every time someone tries to access your iCloud/iTunes account from a new device. One morning I woke up to one that said someone had tried to access it at 11pm at night. Wasn't me! So I had to change that password. I still have to use my sheet every time I want to buy something on my phone.

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  18. After I stopped using the same password for all of my sites...I bought a large notebook and some of those sticky tabs and wrote a letter of the alphabet on each tab and added it to the notebook. So all of my passwords are now in this notebook in alphabetical order. lol

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    1. I remember the days when one password did it all. Then they decided to require a minimum number of characters. Then the characters had to be a combination... It just became impossible. And what about the bank accounts that require your USER NAME to include numbers? So much for using the same user name for everything. Of course, half the time I can't remember if my user name was my email address...and which email address that was if so.

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  19. I have tons of them, too! I keep them in a Notepad++ file with a backup copy of it on my husband's computer. I used to keep most of them in my Contacts on Gmail but decided that really wasn't wise.

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    1. Password protect that file!!! Can you password protect a .txt file? I don't think you can. You probably should copy and paste it into Word and password protect that. Don't name it "passwords" though. Name it "recipes" or something stupid. There were instances of people driving around neighborhoods and using laptops to hack into various wi-fis to get people's information..

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  20. I keep meaning to subscribe to 1Password so that I don't have to worry about this anymore. Because my passwords are way too easy.

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    1. Yeah--people worry about the dangers of using password keepers but using easy passwords or the same password for everything is far more dangerous!

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  21. It can be a challenge to remember them all. I have them on a piece of paper in a safe. Most of the time, I remember what they are, but in case I don't, I refer to the paper.

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    1. I need a safe! But then I'd be annoyed that I had to go get that piece of paper out all the time!

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  22. OH gosh it drives me nuts. I try to keep them similar and have like 4 depending on the restrictions they have. Still end up doing the I forgot my password bit more than I'd care to admit. lol

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    1. Me too! I spent 10 minutes trying to get into a WordPress account I have for a client one day--then I sent "forgot my password." Only THEN did I realize I'd been trying to get into the wrong WordPress account! Too much to keep up with.

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  23. Sigh. I have as few passwords as I can get away with, and it is still too many for my over-taxed brain.
    There is a wonderful Farside cartoon which sums it up for me. His usual dorky kid has his hand up in the classroom saying 'May I be excuse? My brain is full.'

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    1. I know! Someone made a comment that "in the old days," we used to work out our brain by remembering everyone's phone numbers and we don't do that anymore. I pointed out that keeping up with 7 numbers for the most important people in your life was easier than keeping up with 40 passwords and usernames.

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  24. I've seriously gotten to the point where I just expect to have to reset my password on every occasion. And then I get the "you cannot use a previously used password" notification and want to tear my hear out. I'd probably do better just keeping a notebook with them instead of guessing incorrectly each time.

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    1. Ugh. I hate that! That's how we end up with so many passwords in the first place. They make you come up with a completely different one.

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  25. Like Quanie, I have to reset a few passwords now and then. It's really silly. I used to have a great memory before I had a kid! *LOL* Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. I think even people with the best memories have a hard time with it. It'll all be "fingerprint recognition" in the future. Apple's already one step closer with the fingerprint recognition on the iPhone. But I have to enter my lock code when it restarts. The rest of the time I just put my thumb in place and it recognizes it...eventually.

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  26. They make password books. You can write in your username and password, and it's organized like an old phone book in alphabetical order. I bought my mom one for some gift giving occasion.

    They also have password apps for your phone. It stores them or comes up with them... I'm not sure how it works, but my brother swears by the one he has.

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    1. The password book sounds awesome!!! I'm going to have to look into that.

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  27. I use index cards and a metal file box. Alphabetically listed with additional site information, when needed. ( e.g, security questions, pay methods, alternative email contact. name of my backup person in case I'm sick.)

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    1. You ARE organized. I'm impressed!

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  28. I use acronyms of stuff from my childhood, someone no one else would know or ever associate with me if they did. So far, so good. ^_^

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    1. I remember getting instructions on creating complex passwords when I worked for the state. They used the song "Knock Three Times on the Ceiling if You Want Me" as an example. You should do K3*otCiYWM in that instance. It's something you can remember that nobody else would ever guess.

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  29. i have a little notebook with stickies. i hate password creations!!! and yet i was still hacked! argh! and then my hub forgets them and changes them and doesnt tell me, then forgets again... thumbprints, retinal scans, palm prints - let's move on!

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    1. I agree! I love the fingerprint scanner on my iPhone. Although it isn't perfect--I can't just throw my thumb on there any old way. Sometimes it takes multiple tries to get my thumb on there the way it wants!

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  30. I want to say "Thank-You"! I thought I was going bats because I could not remember all the passwords. It's nuts and then the news scares you into thinking a 13 yr pimple head will hack into your stuff to read the latest recipe you decided to keep. I have my written down and taped nearby so I can review them. Ughhhhh

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    1. Looks like it's all of us. Although the password address book Liz A. mentioned is awesome! I found it on Amazon and ordered it immediately. It's like the old phone address books we used to have, with the alphabetical tabs.

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  31. I keep my passwords in a document, so I ca copy and paste. ;)

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  32. I keep my passwords in a document, so I ca copy and paste. ;)

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  33. I have about 6 or 7 passwords that I use for all different things, and if I can't figure out a password, I just go down a mental list of possibilities. Sometimes, for whatever reason, it's none of those passwords, and then I reset it. I should probably write them down in case I ever lose my memory...

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  34. I email myself my new password every time I have to change one, and then stick the email in a special folder. It's saved me quite a few times! I used to write them all down, but I got paranoid that I'd lose the list! (It'd be just my luck!)

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  35. I have a spreadsheet that looks something like this:

    www.facebook.com | pyrosama@comcast(dot)net | Asometext***66ABC
    twitter.com | pyrosama@comcast(dot)net | Asometext***11
    bank.com | pyrosama@comcast(dot)net | Asometext***58

    I'm the only one who knows what the *** means, so it's the only thing I have to remember. I refer to my spreadsheet when I can't remember what password to use. And if anyone got hold of my spreadsheet, they'd have an awful hard time trying to figure out what those 3 asterisks stand for. :)

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  36. I've got them written down too, well typed. And I frequently have to go and look stuff up because yes, I can't remember them all.

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  37. I have been locked out of more sites and email accounts for forgetting my passwords. Usually I try to have ones I can remember and try to use the same ones when I can. Unfortunately some sites have so many different rules that I can't remember. I need to write them down. I do like Diane's idea. I think that could help!

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  38. This is SO the truth! I hate it. The spreadsheet idea is great--may have to give it a shot. Now if only I could remember to write down what I used when I actually create it :)

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  39. I have a short list at work because the two systems that I use require two different passwords that have be changed every three months or so. At home, I have a double list for each computer that has just south of 30 different passwords for all the websites that I use.

    Father Nature's Corner

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  40. I hear you! This is such a pain. I end up needing password hints a lot because I don't write them down.

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  41. I have a notebook for this purpose. All my username and passwords are jotted down at the back. If I want to sign up on a new site that requires username & password info, then this is my procedure...
    First jot down the name of the new site, then add the username/password I intend using for the particular site and then I sign up AFTER having recorded the details.
    If any username/passwords need to be changed, then out comes the book... and follow the procedure, then delete the old info...
    If I don't, then I'll be in SERIOUS trouble and won't be able to access ANYTHING...

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  42. It's enough to make you crazy, isn't it?
    Thanks for the kind review, Steph. Much appreciated.

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  43. I usually use the same one, but learned the hard way that doing that can be dangerous. Now I still often use the same one, but never for my emails. Now I keep a spreadsheet with them listed with my usernames. I've also found that when sites have tough requirements, if you make a word but use symbols or numbers that sort of look like the letters, it is easier to remember.

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  44. Passwords and even user names can be so annoying. I keep mine in a composition book and they're kind of coded there so they'd be difficult for someone to figure out. But really most of those accounts wouldn't matter that much if someone broke into them.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  45. Passwords can really drive me crazy sometimes.

    Have a hassle free week!

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  46. I have a spiral journal of passwords on my desk. I refer to it daily. Haha :)

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  47. I have to write them down, but I hear you on the ridiculous requirements. Some of them are so time consuming and crazy!

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