Here's an effective password manager system that's free, surprisingly simple, and allows you to create and actually remember strong, unique passwords for all of your accounts.
As a business owner, I bet you have a lot of online accounts with a variety of websites. You probably have more online accounts than the average person, and those accounts are likely important to your business' success and your financial well-being.
I know that's the case for me.
A few years ago I realized the importance of getting my passwords in order, so I did some research and implemented a great passwords management system.
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I really thought I had all of my passwords in order. I have an excellent system that allows me to create passwords that are complex, different for every single account I access, and also easy to remember.
It's genius!I can say that because I didn't come up with it myself. I learned everything I needed from the book Healthy Passwords by Ken S. Klein.
I was really proud of my password system. Then I got a brand new computer and discovered my system wasn't completely flawless.
My new computer is a thing of beauty. After tolerating an older laptop that wasn't powerful enough for my needs, I am in love with this new computer that can run Illustrator, Photoshop, and several tabs in Chrome all at the same time without even hiccuping. However, in the switch-over process, I discovered a couple of my usernames and passwords were not what I thought they were.
As I tried entering what I believed to be the correct password and email combination into those accounts, I was fraught with worry that I would try the wrong password one too many times and get locked out of the account.
Now, if I lost access to something like a personal Pinterest account, I'd be disappointed, but I'd get over it. But if I lost access to something like my business Pinterest account, I'd be devastated. A huge number of visitors to my site come from Pinterest. I use my Pinterest business account to support my business as well as other craft businesses, and I'd hate to have to start from scratch to build a new following.
The same may be true for you for all kinds of sites:
The list goes on.
And if you combine a lost password with a defunct email address, or if you have multiple email addresses, and you're not sure which one you used for which account, then retrieving your lost password can become surprisingly problematic.
Long ago, I solved the problem of creating strong, memorable passwords for myself. You won't find passwords like "123456," or "qwerty," or "password" protecting any of my accounts, and you won't catch me reusing the same password for several important accounts. However, for various reasons, (okay truth - it was just sheer laziness) I strayed from my system on a few accounts, which became problematic.
Luckily, I was able to retrieve all of my login information for all of my accounts. But I have learned my lesson, and I am going to spend a couple of hours on the weekend working on password maintenance and tidying up my system. The system really is an effective password manager; my problem happened because I stopped following the system consistently.
I'm certain I would have had problems with a lot more than two accounts if I hadn't put the system in place a few years ago. I just had let it slip a bit over the years, and I need to invest a little maintenance time tidying it up.
So, I'm asking you to ask yourself if your own login information for sites that are crucial to your business is secure.
By secure, I mean:
It's easy to lose track of this information if you have your computer set up to automatically login to sites.
If you haven't come up with a reliable, secure way to create effective passwords, I'd strongly suggest having a look at Ken Klein's Healthy Passwords. It's a small investment in time and money for some crucial information that could protect you and your business from a lot of pain.