Let’s talk passwords.

Here’s the thing. I know you would rather sit on a lawn somewhere and watch the grass grow than read this blog post but seriously, if you are still using the same password (or two or three) for all of your accounts, THIS POST IS FOR YOU!

What if I were to tell you that you could have one password that you need to remember and still be more protected than you are right now? Do I have your attention? Good!

Miller Organized Password Strategy Plan

When was the last time you changed your passwords?

The truth of the matter is there are people out there who want your money. They don’t care if your bank account sometimes dips into the red or if you have a less than perfect credit score. They don’t care what you do for a living or what kind of car you drive. You may go to bed at night and not even think about them, but trust me, they are thinking about you. Well, maybe not you specifically, but you credit cards and your bank accounts and your information.

So what are you doing to protect yourself?

You would not dream of going to bed with all the lights on, a sign flashing in your front yard welcoming strangers in, with all your doors and windows open and your stuff laying around for anyone to grab, but that is exactly what you are doing if you use the same password on all of your accounts.

Have I convinced you that it’s time to organize your password system? Great! Here’s how to set it up. Since different people have different ways of processing information, I’ve organized this into two options: analog and digital.

Create an Analog Password Plan

1. Get an address book and dedicate it to keeping your passwords organized. An address book allows you to record password in alphabetical order within the book. You can also get a password logbook (yes, they make those now!) Use a sharp pencil to write passwords down. It will help keep your book neat and tidy when you change them later.

Password Logbook

Your password logbook is your best friend!

2. Start recording all of the places you visit on the web. Don’t worry about changing them all at once – that tactic is what makes people avoid the task, because it would be so time-consuming. Instead, each time you use a new account, systematically change your password and write it down in your notebook.

Oh, and the days of writing down passwords that you can remember? Yeah, those days are over. Make them longer than you normally would, complicated and without words. Something like, *gF6Rp^X3C=7. A combination of numbers, letters and symbols.

3. Make sure to change the passwords on the old accounts that you no longer visit as well. Fraudsters can hack accessing old information so it is important to change the passwords on all of your accounts.

4. Store your book somewhere safe, hidden and close at hand.

Create a Digital Password Plan

If you are open to using a digital service, passwords can be generated automatically and stored within their system, meaning that you only need to remember one single password to access them all. These services also alert you when your password has been compromised. I like 1Password and LastPass. Just make sure you use a difficult password as your original one, and change it often.

That’s it! Whether you go analog or digital – pick one and stick to it!

Finally, make sure your phone, computers, wifi and electronics all have complicated passwords as well, and change them often. I recommend setting a date on your calendar to make sure this gets done on a regular basis.

I know, you don’t have a lot of extra time and this all seems very complicated. But how much time will you have when you get hacked? How you spend your time should be your choice. Which one will you choose?

If you need help setting up a password plan, get in touch! Professional organizers love to help with this kind of thing, and I can help you to get started!

Melinda Miller