With the help of the address book in our cell phones, we no longer have to worry about remembering phone numbers when we want to call a friend or family member.  Now, instead of trying to remember phone numbers, we not only have to keep track of various passwords but also what website or member login they are paired with.  Security experts say to make passwords unique using both letters and characters, and recommend not using the same password for everything.  But, in today’s world of multiple online bank accounts, retail accounts, email, and social media, how are we supposed to track and remember them all?

1. Password Manager Services

If you don’t mind paying a fee for the service, consider using a password manager to help organize and store your passwords online.  You’ll have to create a strong master password, but at least you will only have to remember one.  Be cautious when choosing a manager and review their security measures since you will be storing everything in one place and relying on their protection.  

2. Log-in through Social Media or Google

Some sites now allow you to log in using your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account information.  You likely won’t have the option to do this for bank accounts, but perhaps you can get away from creating yet another password when you visit your favorite retail or food delivery website.  Similar to using a password manager service, if you are using the same social media password to log in multiple places, make sure it is a strong one.

3. Store them in an encrypted document

If you don’t want to pay for a password manager service, but still want a place to list and store all of your passwords, consider saving them in a password protected and encrypted document on your computer.  Go one step further in protecting the document and refrain from storing it in the cloud.

4. Write them down

When all else fails, write your passwords down on paper.  Store and treat the list as you would any other important document and don’t keep it next to your computer or in your wallet.  Do your best to list the passwords with as little additional member login information as possible.

Tracking and protecting your online security is a significant part of protecting your overall financial foundation. Contact Sharkey, Howes & Javer at 303-639-5100 to meet with a Certified Financial Planner® to learn about additional ways to protect what you have worked hard to build.

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