This is a guest post from Simone Mitchell Thompson, Coach, intrepid traveller, wife and mum (in no particular order). I have followed her very handy advice about saving passwords since reading this post and am finding this approach so much faster and more reliable than my old spreadsheet I’d been keeping for years. Enjoy this – and just remember it next time when you forget your DYRTM password!
I have far too many things to remember and as I get older, it seems to get harder and harder to recall certain information …………. pin numbers and online passwords are the two things which always floor me.
There are certain websites that I can log into with no problem and I never have to think twice about the username / password / memorable information combination which is required (bank account, facebook, Coles online are just a few examples). Other sites which I use less often (Open University, old e-mail accounts, kids school portal, the online tax return option I have …….) these totally throw me. I sit at the computer with a very intent expression on my face while my brain races through the different number/ letter/capital letter combo it could be.
After three agonizing attempts, I find myself locked out and on the phone trying to remember my “helpline access” password, or pin number or whatever other combination of pets names, birthdays and phone numbers I cobbled together 18 months ago when I first set up the account. I am usually, eventually referred to a real person who sounds as frustrated and resigned to his / her fate as I am at that point.
The account is reset for me and I am advised to go back in and change the password to something more memorable, but not too easy to guess …………… which brings me back to the start of this cycle!
Recently I had to request a new pin number for a credit card – I hardly ever use this card, so when I had to input the pin, my mind was totally blank. I remembered receiving the original pin number some time last year which was sent with the obligatory warning to destroy the pin number and NOT to write it down. Of course I didn’t actually WRITE it down! Oh no, that would be too easy for someone to find (anyone but me I must add). I decided in my infinite wisdom to disguise this pin as a phone number. I quickly scrolled through my address book but had no idea what on earth I named this “person” with the fictitious phone number. Does anyone else to that?!
I found a lot of contacts of people I hadn’t spoken to in ages and resolved to phone them sometime soon. The key to my pin number, however, remained buried in one of the 17 mystery contacts I couldn’t place as real people. I tried the first few which looked most likely and managed to lock myself out of the account. Which led to me calling up sheepishly to request the next new pin number ……………..
A more tech-savvy friend came to my rescue with the wonderful little piece of software called 1Password, which is now my new best friend and can be found at:
For a small fee of $49.99 my life has changed! Not only have I stopped disguising pin numbers as phone numbers, I can log in directly from the 1password application. This means I don’t even have to remember the web address of my bank any more!
To quote from their website
1Password is a password manager that goes beyond simple password storage by integrating directly with your web browser to automatically log you into websites, enter credit card information, fill registration forms, and easily generate strong passwords.
I am not normally so excited by such little pieces of software, but seriously, this one is amazing! It has saved me so much time by not having to scrabble around any more to find information. As well as storing passwords etc (you can use your own passwords or have 1Password generate one for you), you can also store things like software licence numbers, drivers licence or passport information and even attach a file to this, meaning that you can upload and store an encrypted version of your passport.
Initially I was a bit freaked out that all this info was held in one place (it is also available on iPhone, iPad and Android) but now that I have set the master password to a super-high level, all my details are safe. I just need to remember what THAT password is!
Let us know your password solution – we’re keen to gather opinions on this one.