Everyone Needs A Password Record

I've written before about the value of having a record of your passwords. This is an organizational tool that saves time and lots of frustration. By recording your passwords, it also enables you to set more complex, hopefully more hacker-proof, passwords.

I use an address book because it's alphabetized and easily portable. When traveling, I can toss it in my briefcase or laptop case.

The name of the website or entity being password-protected goes in the proper alphabetical ranking followed by the complete URL. I then list the email with which I registered and the Login name I used if it's different from the email. Next, I record the password and any security questions with the answers that may have been used. I take care to write the security question and answer exactly as I recorded it with the proper upper and lower case distinctions.

This is something that's easy to do, and it's not difficult to make this habit. I've even got my husband to do this. Formerly, he just wrote something down on a piece of note paper which joined the other detritus on his desk. All those slips of paper became as invisible as a purloined letter.

Compelling Reason

A compelling reason, beyond time and frustration saving, to adopt this organizational tool is that it helps the person who must take care of a loved one's estate. When you have to deal with the heartbreak of losing someone, it's just too much to have to deal with a computer that you can't use to notify your loved one's email contacts and to close internet accounts.

Many people have their computers password-protected so that you can't access it at all. There are companies springing up to deal with these problems, but it's pricey to pay someone to hack a deceased's computer.

Takeaway Truth

Keep a registry of your passwords, and tell the trusted people in your life where they can find that record.


  1. And what happens when you lose this list? Or are unfortunate enough to have it stolen?

  2. Anonymous, one would hope that the same care that is exercised to secure a checkbook or other important document would also be used to main the security of a password register.

  3. Joan, there are no good answers to the password problem, but your solution is more dangerous than average.

    There's not enough space here to address it properly, so I wrote an entire post to explain why - and offer a better (though still far from perfect) solution: Passwords: FAIL!

    I hope you'll reconsider your personal security.

  4. Harl, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. My hard copy small address book, which fits in my purse, is much easier for those who don't lease servers as you do.