From the Front Lines

Reader feedback: Old vs. new methods of managing passwords

By Association Adviser staff • December 10, 2013

Last week, we received a thoughtful response to Marcus Underwood’s “Total Recall” article:

A couple thoughts related to your post

  • I’d suggest an “old school” option is to create a password protected spreadsheet and then print a copy and put it somewhere safe. The spreadsheet should be stored securely in the cloud or on a flash drive in a safe or safety deposit box. PLUS, you should tell a loved one where that print out or file is and how to get into it.  That way, when you pass away, they will be able to control your online identity as needed.
  • If your computer is stolen, someone can easily go to sites that “remember you” and quite possibly already have the password stored, allowing them direct access. So, I always recommend that folks never let the site remember them.

There is not a perfect solution, but I thought I would share my thoughts.



From Marcus:

Thanks, Cameron. A printed spreadsheet or document is a tried and true method (I certainly have done it in the past). With more people using mobile phones and tablets to access info, I do think having an app can be a more efficient solution for those folks. Mobile devices continue to serve as time-saving tools that help the user stay organized, and that role includes securely storing passwords that are frequently needed to quickly access information.

The best solution for managing passwords depends on how an individual typically accesses websites. If it’s a site they visit daily, with information they monitor daily, they will probably appreciate the time saved by having a stored password within the site more than they fear others hacking into and altering their information. If it’s a site they visit weekly or less frequently, they will probably prefer to store the password off-site, electronically or paper-based, and manually enter their login information each time.

I appreciate your response and we have made it available here for others to benefit from.


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