Oh, And One More Thing: What About Storing Passwords?

OK, just one more thing, I promise–and then we’ll leave all this safety-security-omg! scary stuff behind. Well, no: we won’t leave it behind, because it’s important. We just won’t keep talking about it all the time. What about storing passwords?


In the process of dealing with the burglary, I had to change all my passwords. I told y’all about that. Every. Single. One. And, honeys, there are legion. I don’t know about y’all, but somehow, over the years, I’ve accumulated a lot of passwords. I have passwords for sites I haven’t visited in years. I swear–*swear*–I have not been to MySpace any time lately. It’s kind of embarrassing even to realize I still have a password for there (in my defense, my page is gone, and the password no longer worked, so it’s not as ugly as I feared). I reset all those passwords, and then I had to figure out how to store them, especially since now I can’t remember ANY of them. I asked on Facebook: where do y’all keep your passwords? I figured people would have all kinds of different answers, but mostly there were three broad categories:

1) I keep them all in my head. (We don’t even want to know these people: if they can sort and store and recall all their passwords in their head, they probably do quadratic equations over coffee in the morning just for fun. You know, to tune up for the day.)

2) I have one of those online password keepers.

3) A little notebook.


Ignore #1. Those people both impress and terrify me.


#2: I know a lot of people who do this, and I’ve thought about it. You go to the site, pay a fee, input all your info, and it stores it all for you and gives you access. I’m not providing links here because I can’t recommend any of them because I’ve never used them, and here’s why: I figure if anything online can get hacked, then everything online can get hacked. If you were a hacker, would you spend your time and energy trying to hack, oh, MySpace, or would you spend it trying to hack a password site with tons of useful stuff? I’d like to think there are places online that are totally secure, but I know that if government records can be hacked, then anything can: have you ever tried to get info from the government when they don’t want to give it to you? Those people are tight with information, and if it can be hacked, then I’m guessing my measly little PayPal account is a walk in the park.


And that brings us to #3: a little notebook.

Freeman-Zachery notebook

It surprised me, but that was the overwhelmingly most popular answer: a little notebook that goes everywhere with you. I don’t know how I feel about this, because anything that exists In Real Life can be lost or stolen, no matter how safe you try to keep it. But, on the other hand, you can’t 1) use one easily-remembered password for everything or 2) commit every password to memory, not if you’re doing it right and creating good passwords. Many people said they keep a notebook with the passwords written in code. Things like “grandpa’s airplane,” which would be Harold747. Making some sort of code does seem to be the safest, I think, but then, if it’s lost or stolen, you’re still going to have to change everything. Again. I just don’t know. It’s kind of overwhelming, way more than I used to think, pre-burglary.

What’s your solution? If you’ve found something that seems more foolproof than our ideas, we’d love to hear them–it’s tough to keep things safe, and we can use all the tips we can get~~


Alternative Art Journals_150If that little notebook is intriguing and you’d like ideas for creating some alternate journals, check out Margaret Peot’s Alternative Art Journals.


Ricë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.




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