While people are at home, and many of them are cleaning up their houses, it would be a great time to organize passwords too.
This is a job that most people put off indefinitely! Do you have a notebook or slips of paper with many versions of your passwords from the past? This is the time to learn now to organize your passwords – step 1!
The first step is about getting all of your existing passwords in order. You need to figure out what passwords you should have, and whether you know the most current version of the password.
Get out every password list you have, and start going through them. On a clean piece of paper or in a document on your computer or phone, type out the companies that you have passwords with. Here is a list to get you started, but yours will be different.
- Email – Gmail, Comcast, Verizon, Yahoo, Hotmail etc
- Social Media – Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, WhatsApp etc
- Financial – Banks, Investments, Electricity, Phone, Gas, any online bill pay, cell phone carrier
- Shopping – Amazon, EBay, Macys,
- Apple ID
- Travel – Airlines, Hotels, Airbnb, VRBO, Parking apps, EZPass
- Uber, Lyft
- Newspaper and Magazine subscriptions – Boston Globe, NYTimes
- Medical – doctors, hospitals, insurance
- Governmental – Social Security, your city
Look at the apps on your phone to get ideas, as well as your bookmarked web pages.
Find the saved passwords in your browser on your computer and your phone, as well as any saved passwords in your phone itself. There may be several versions of passwords for a single website. At this stage, write them all down. We will check them out later.
Once you have a list that is fairly complete, we recommend that you try them all out to see whether they are, in fact, correct.
We suggest that people try each password either in a different browser than it was saved in, or on a different device. For example, if you use the Facebook app on your phone, then you should try to log into it in the browser on a computer. Or if you usually use the Chrome browser, try logging into websites in Firefox. This will help to avoid logging out of something that has been saved, until the correct password is confirmed.
You will likely find that there are websites that you do not have the current password for. We tackle those lost and forgotten passwords in later blog posts, which take you through creating new passwords and how to update existing passwords.