(For the next few Mondays I’m going to share a few foundational tech tips that I think all moms can benefit from knowing.)
As a former web geek (I used to be a web developer) I find that I have dozensâ€¦.scoresâ€¦.perhaps as many as a hundred “accounts” at different sites. It used to be SUCH a headache to manage all of them. I made frequent use of the “Forgot Your Password” link until I came up with what I consider to be a tried and true system.
For normal web surfers, one username for all sites is probably fine. If you want an added bit of security go ahead and use a second one for more sensitive sites (bank, paypal etc.)
I tend to use two standard usernames. These usernames are based on whether I’m using the site for personal use or blog use. Depending on the site I’m at or the specific account I’m trying to log into, I can easily figure out which username is applicable.
Now, for the password. This is where people get into trouble. Either they use the same password for all sites (badâ€¦badâ€¦idea) or they use truly random ones and never have a clue what their password is when arrive at a login screen.
If you fit into either of those groups, today is your day to rejoice (go aheadâ€¦rejoice) because I’m going to share my system with you and I hope it will simplify your web life immensely.
My Secret System
Here’s my secretâ€¦I use the same password for every site. (gasp) EXCEPT, I change it based on certain specifications of the site I’m on. For example, let’s say my base password is “butterscotch” and I’m creating an account at yahoo.com. I decide on a certain spot where I input information from yahoo.com so that each password on each site is unique.
A simple version would be to make my password be “butterscotchya5″.
What I did was take my base password, added on the first two letters of the site name â€” YA â€” AND added the number of letters in the site name â€” 5. Make sense?
So now, whenever I visit a site I know that my password is going to be “butterscotch” PLUS the first two letters of the site name PLUS the number of letters in the site name. As a result I have a relatively secure, alphanumeric password that is really easy to remember (or at least figure out) for every site I visit.
Make it more secure
Now, if you’re a security nerd like I tend to be, your base word can be a “made up word” that would be difficult to separate from the rest of your formulaâ€¦.like “huplkst” and then you could add variable from the site name into your base password at more random intervalsâ€¦like the 3 and 5 letters and add the number at the beginningâ€¦.like this “5huYpAlkst.” In addition, you can change your system on a regular basis (as long as you’re willing to update all the sites.)
Make It Even Easier
With this process I’m never searching through emails or word documents trying to find passwords to sites. And I know that no matter where I am or what computer I am using, I know how to quickly log into any site I need to use. I can also feel relatively confident that my passwords are secure.
If you’re not asleep yet after reading this postâ€¦.congratulations…all two of you.
Question: Have you ever found remember logins and passwords to be a hassle? Do you have a system?
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