Passwords: How do you keep track of them all?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Blue Velvet, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Applied for a new credit card the other day and was asked for yet another password. An exactly 10 letter one.. (?!@$)

    At last count, I have almost twenty passwords & PINs for everything including online shopping and banking, credit/debit cards, pc & mac access at work, business accounts, ISP etc.

    Most cards in the UK are now becoming Chip & PIN cards which means even more numbers to remember....

    This aspect of life is starting to get totally out of hand.

    I could use the same password everywhere but so many require a minimum or maximum number of letters & numbers.

    Am toying with the idea of placing a stuffed and encrypted textedit file on a small cheap usb key with everything on it somewhere in the flat but that too will also need... another bloody password!

    How do you manage all your passwords and important info?
    Is there a safe & effective way of keeping track of them all?

    A friend of mine writes all of hers down in a little book using cryptic comments as to what they're actually for. Not safe and inevitably the day came when she couldn't find it, just as when we were trying to hook her new iBook up to her dial-up ISP and when it did eventually turn up the cryptic comments were so obscure she couldn't make sense of them...

    I'm sure there's a moral in there somewhere, but damned if I know what it is... :confused:
  2. Wes macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2001
    I have about four or five passwords. For sites that require registration for the hell of it, I use , with the firefox plugin it's truly amazing.
  3. JasonL macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2004
    Ware, MA
    I understand where you are coming from; I'm in a similar situation between all my PINs and passcodes. I keep important information on a disc that I keep locked up. The USB key is not a bad idea either.
  4. DanTekGeek macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Ive come to the point that I have 3 passwords that I use for everything on the web. This is a problem, becase, if someone guessed my email password, they would also know my forum passwords, my blog password, etc. Im interested to see what everyone has to say about this.
  5. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    i use this cool new technology that is so advanced that it deos not even require a computer!!!! its called my memory!! remeber when you were a kid and had to memorize the spelling of words or the multiplication tables? yeah, quick 12x12!

    but i have noticed on passwords that i use infrequently that it can be difficult to rember them. so i just keep a file of 'hints' not the actual password, but enough to spark my memory on the password. (this also helps on accounts where you change your password frequently, i do this on all of my accounts involving money, just for that added level of saftey) for example if your password is "macrummors" then you might right down MR in your 'hints' file. sure, you will remeber what MR stands for but if some bloke steals your file they will see MR and have no idea what it means.
  6. Will Curran macrumors regular

    Will Curran

    Oct 23, 2004
    Phoenix AZ
  7. JasonL macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2004
    Ware, MA
    I have a great memory, the problem is that I can't have just one password as various sites/cards/whatever have different PIN/passcode requirements (both in number of characters, need to use both numbers and letters, or needing to use both caps and lower case letters in one of my passcodes). Some of my financial accounts require frequent changing of the passcode. I'm certain that I have at least ten PINs and passcodes. I know them all but sometimes have a hard time remembering which one to use where.

    There was software that I had seen a while back that was designed for this very issue. I'll try to find it.

    EDIT: well here's one: PasswordWallet

    I found a bunch of them for Windows...not so many for Macs it seems. This one is cheap, though, compared to the others.
  8. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Ha ha.

    Wait till you're on the wrong side of 40, my friend.
  9. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I have 3 different passwords I use for things on the internet, like forums, blogs, etc. I have one master password for my computer, and I tend to use totally different passwords for things like encrypted disk images, and network passwords.
  10. oldschool macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2003
    i'll use a related string of words with the same number attached all the time.

    for example: Tree448, Pine448, Oak448

    that way if u forget one of them you could just try all the trees u can think of
  11. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    I write everything down in nice easy to read block capitals on a piece of paper, and leave it by the computer :eek: ;) :p
  12. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Now, where's that thread where you posted a pic of your setup again?


    You're kidding, though? Even banking stuff?
  13. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Of course I'm kidding! :p
  14. AmigoMac macrumors 68020


    Aug 5, 2003
    For IM passwords : Keychain is ok. those are the only passwords I don't care to remember. I know I should but I trust keychain.

    bank, e-mail, websites, mac login ... one place : memory.
  15. iJoe macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2004
    I have 18 bits of paper next to my keyboard with passwords on all of them. Of course, the passwords to all the interesting stuff is in my safe.

    I use a new password each month, so every website I sign up to this month will have the same password.

    email and other sensitive things are more complex, and are unique.
  16. Archaeopteryx macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2003
    Pfft noobs :p You get 1 incredibly long and impossible to crack password... Like " z5426210a" then if you need a smaller password cut numbers off .. if you need it longer add a repeateing number at the end.. e.g. "z5426210aaaaaaaa"...

    at least thats how my password works.. and ive never had trouble remembering it :-D

    /edit No that is not my password, i just mashed keys :p
  17. cheekyspanky macrumors 6502a


    Jan 21, 2004
    South Bucks, UK
    Worryingly enough this is exactly what a flatmate of mine used to do, he had a bunch of cue cards in a little rack thing. One day I felt I should let him know it was a bad idea to leave his password/username for his bank account so I went and told him. His response was to move his bank account details precisely one cue card back in the pile, look at me and say "happy now?"

  18. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    all my passwords (emails, IM, forums, etc) are the same, except for my windows login. all my pass numbers are the same, or a repetition of the number for longer numbers, or the beginning of it for shorter numbers. then there's my school id which i have to use for everything at school and can't seem to remember...
  19. Phat_Pat macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2004
    I Live Where I Live
    I've kept a single password for everything for almost 3 years now. Makes everything real easy. :)
  20. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

    Mar 19, 2004
    A series of tubes
    I use my brain and Keychain.

    It makes me want to vomit when I can't even read an online newspaper article without having to fill out a freakin' form that's like a government Top Secret Clearance request form. :mad: It seems like everything on the internet now requires some stupid, unnecessary account registration.
  21. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    So do I. :D

    I don't really care about anything other than my bank account, and yet I still use the same password for everything.

    Actually, I have 2 passwords, but I use one for almost everything.

    I've thought about making up new ones, but am afraid of forgetting them.
  22. DanTekGeek macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2004
    Denver, CO
    passwords are easy to remember and give hints on if they are dictionary words or abbreviations and such. All my passwords however are alpha-numeric. its hard to give a hint for 8n5h3c (again, not a real password) I was thinking of getting one of those biometric thumb drives and carrying it around with me, and backing up its files on an encrypted disk. then the only password i would have to remember would be the master disk password. but, knowing me, ill probably end up just keeping different alpha-numeric passwords for everything, and hoping i dont get a bonk on the head.
  23. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I use the password "charming" for all purposes.

    OK, well maybe not. I make up new passwords for every occasion, web site, and account. The few I use all the time are the ones I remember. The rest I look up when I need them.
  24. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2004
    Secret Moon base
    There's a program comes with OS X called KeyChain which you can use to manage all your passwords. It is in the Applications folder. When you enter a password on a web form it automatically gets saved in there. Also if you have .Mac, the backup program will saves all the KeyChain passwords to your iDisk so if you ever have to restore your Mac you don't have to re-enter them on all the web pages.
  25. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says....I use different passwords everywhere and it was starting to get to be a pain, so I got a copy of the shareware app Password Master. I find it really handy to be able to keep not only my logins and passwords but also my software registration serial numbers. Well worth the $10, for me anyway.....oh yeah!

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