Security – A New Year – Time for New Passwords!

Happy New Year to you all!
Do you have a List of Resolutions?
Thought about adding ‘New Passwords’ to that list?

The Quippery

In 2011, The Car Guy’s Yahoo Mail account sent out invitations to most of his contacts to use Viagra. After hours of looking for a breach, I realized that the account had been hacked through Yahoo itself. We secured the account with a new password, but the whole episode was a good reminder of why it is a good idea to change passwords frequently, and have different passwords for different accounts.

Strong passwords are also highly recommended. Some sites require specific combinations, though not quite as rigorous as this password protocol that I made up:

The Car Guy and I developed and memorized a few mnemonic phrases. They form the first part of our passwords. The second part of each password varies from site to site. We’ve memorized most of them, but keep them all in a database (without the mnemonic part) for those days when we can’t find our car keys, let alone remember a password…

Do you have a Password ‘System’?

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19 thoughts on “Security – A New Year – Time for New Passwords!

  1. Excellent advice. I finally started using 1Password to keep track of my passwords. The learning curve was pretty steep because I was hesitant to turn over my passwords to an app I didn’t thoroughly understand. But it’s useful to have a single place that stores all the passwords I usually use, plus a few of the nonsense ones I finally trusted it to generate.

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  2. I’m not sure my brain could hold a new set of passwords every year. I have two different systems for passwords which usually work in such a way that I don’t forget them but if I log into something new, I’ll email myself a clue for that website. Then, if I forget the password, I just search for the website in my mail and find the password clue. I log into my mail enough not to forget that one. 🙂
    Happy New Year to you, Margie! May it have plenty of chocolate and no Viagra.

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    1. You are right – there are just too many to remember – unless you are a person who uses the same password for all sites!
      Happy New Year to you too! You should see how much chocolate I got for Christmas! Hopefully my husband’s email account doesn’t go on a Viagra binge again. Some of his contacts didn’t realize it was spam, and were quite miffed that he would suggest they might need it…

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  3. I use a base password (2 characters 2 numbers 2 characters) with different numeric ‘add ons’ for different apps/sites. I keep a paper based record of all my passwords (in a separate location from my computer, obviously). The older I get, the harder it is to remember my passwords and I often have to go to my ‘little black book’ to look one up. My husband’s work requires him to change his password ever 3 months. Like me, he uses the same base letter/number combination and simply ‘ups’ the number at the end by 1 each time he’s forced to make the change.

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    1. Your system sounds very similar to ours, and yes – we often have to check our ‘master list’ too. My husband is super diligent about changing his passwords frequently on the accounts that would cause him the most grief if they were hacked.

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  4. I use a password keeper now to store all my passwords. I do have a system for creating passwords, but each one is unique. Admittedly, they don’t get changed very often.

    As much as I would like to curse the need for passwords on everything, I’ve decided to embrace them because I’d like to believe that trying to remember them (without the annoyance of looking them up when I need to) is keeping my aging brain healthy 😉

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  5. That sounds like such a great idea, and so exhausting. Can I claim full credit for being a responsible adult because I read your password protocol and tried, at least a bit, to understand it?

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    1. I expect you are the only person who read my password protocol! So here, let me give you an example: Y (uppercase letter); 2 (a number); Zodiac symbol – that’s a tough one, so let’s just go with a zodiac name – Leo; Eeyore (Literary Character); % (sort of like a hieroglyph).

      Put it all together, and you have Y2LeoEeyore%
      This kind of reminds me of vanity license plates like NVERLA8 or L8ASUSL or HIOFECR … Maybe I should do a blog post about these…

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