Ask The Expert – Memory /Passwords
My memory is not what it used to be, and I am having a difficult time keeping up with all of my passwords. It can be very frustrating to get locked out of an account or be unable to access a website that I need to pay bills or grocery shop. With so many things going virtual, I need some help. Do you have any suggestions?
This is a common problem across all ages. As more and more sites require a password to keep our information safe, it can be a real challenge to keep up with them all. The other thing to think about, is if something ever happened to you (like a medical emergency) and someone else in your family needed access to any of your accounts, would they be able to find them?
There are a variety of things that you might try and programs available to help you. If you want to stay old school, you can keep a small notebook with all of your accounts, usernames and passwords written down. The trick is keeping this up to date and keeping it in a secure place.
If you find a key easier to keep up with than passwords, you can lock your notebook in a fireproof safe. You could store other important documents in here as well. Many people have also opted to simplify passwords, by using the same one, but this is increasingly difficult to do, as many websites require you to change it periodically or have certain requirements that cause you to alter it.
Another option is a program or application that is designed to help you keep all your passwords in one place. Some computer browsers will offer to remember passwords. You can also create a Word document or Excel spreadsheet and then password protect it. This way you only have to remember that one password, to access the master list. Here are some other programs to consider:
Last Pass – This is a password manager that generates strong passwords and safely stores them for you. You will still need a master password that you remember. You can use this on your browser or on your smartphone.
Last Pass does offer a free version and a paid version with more options. https://www.lastpass.com/
1Password – This is a trusted password manager app that will keep login information safe and secure. There is an annual subscription fee that comes with 1GB of storage and two-factor authentication options. This works across most platforms and you can create a guest account for password sharing.
You could share this with your power of attorney or a trusted family member/friend. https://1password.com/
Dashlane – This is a simple, secure way to manage and autofill your passwords, payments, and other personal information while using the web.
The free version covers one device and up to 50 passwords; beyond that, there are paid subscription options. https://www.dashlane.com/lp/neverforget-teal/
If you or someone you know has cognitive issues that compound the problem, you can have a partner or family member help you with any of these options. If a fingerprint or face ID is possible, opt for that, as you will not have to memorize a password. Be careful who you share this information with. If you have selected someone to serve as your power of attorney, that might be a good person to trust with password assistance. At the end of the day, minimize frustration and keep your information safe and accessible. Good luck.
Are You In Need Of Additional Assistance Beyond Passwords?
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