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Online Security: Be Creative with Passwords

Creativity goes hand in hand with writing—-and online security. Usernames and passwords are a fact of life for anyone active online. From your e-mail account to your bank account, you have to deal with keeping your login information private. And how difficult is it to remember and manage all those usernames and passwords?

Dedicated Address Book

I keep my usernames and passwords in a wire-bound address book listed alphabetically by the name of the website. If I change a password, I record the change in the book and enter the date I changed it. I use some of my logins often enough that I can remember them, but  the address book is on my desk, just in case. Some experts say this is not safe, especially if you carry your password list with your computer. Anyone who gets their hands on the book and the computer can access all your online accounts.

Password Manager Software

My Norton 360 Premier Edition anti-virus protection has a feature called Identity Safe. My passwords are all saved in a vault. I have to remember the password for the vault, but the vault remembers all the rest for me. It’s much less cumbersome than the book, but I still keep the book up to date anyway. Similar stand-alone password management software will cost you between $9.99 and $30. evaluates the top password managers (as of Feb. 15, 2017) online here.

Secret Formula

Develop your own formula for your passwords so that you don’t have to write them down. If you use the same formula for every password, the password will be unique for each site but easy for you to remember. See this article by Daniel Scocco on I’d want my formula to be simpler than his, but it is a great idea. I’ve tried choosing a five-letter word to use as the base of my formula. I changed it up by adding letters, numbers or special characters before and after it. Of course, since my formula is secret, I won’t share it with you.

It Goes without Saying…

But, I’ll say it anyway. Don’t store your password list on your computer. Don’t create and/or save a Word file or any other file with usernames and passwords to save on your computer.

Readers, do you have a fool-proof way to keep your passwords secure? Share in a comment. E-mail subscribers, click on the title of this article to go to the post. Scroll down to Leave a Reply.

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