Help! How to organise passwords when you’ve got over 100 of them? Can you relate to this dilemma?
I don’t know about you but I came to the realisation recently that I have over 1,000 passwords.
Some of them I use regularly (daily, weekly or monthly).
While others are used less frequently.
Depending on your age you’ll probably remember a time when online banking meant logging into a website.
Then came banking via mobile apps which meant logging into your bank account via a laptop less frequent.
If you suffer from password overwhelm these concerns or reactions may sound familiar.
You cringe whenever you need to create a new account because it means yet another password to remember.
The words personal identity theft gives you heart palpitations.
There are sticky notes, text files, scraps of paper and grey matter oozing from your brain filled with passwords.
Your brain yearns for a way to organise all these passwords so that you can be relieved of the password burden.
In this post, you’ll learn the best way to finally put an end to the password mess and weak passwords.
As well as the top-secret place to get truckloads of passwords so you will not need to invent a new password again.
The History of Passwords
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I cannot help but look at the history of things.
Did you know that passwords also have a history?
The inventor of the humble digital password is Dr Fernando Corbato.
He created a piece of software during the 1950s to help people timeshare on a single computer called Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS).
In order for many people to securely use that one computer, they needed a password or passcode.
Back in those days computers were huge and could not be moved around like laptops.
Because of this clever invention, he received the AM Turing Award in 1990.
Dr Corbato passed away a few short years ago in 2019 at the age of 93.
One big lesson you can learn from this experience is that inventors seem to live well into their 90s so go out and invent something. Lol!! (joke).
How to Generate 100s of Unique Passwords in Seconds
As I mentioned previously one of the most stressful occasions weekly or monthly is when you are prompted to create new online accounts.
Thankfully there are a number of software platforms where a password is not required.
One such platform is SteamYard. You simply enter your email address and they send you a link to log in.
For everything else, in this new digital life, you’ll need login credentials, a password or security pin or both to log in.
A few years ago I got so tired of finding new ways to generate strong passwords.
That is until I remembered another Irish inventor.
His name is Mads Haahr and he is a doctor and professor at Trinity College in Ireland.
You can find his inventions on the random.org website which was created in 1997.
What’s cool about his invention is that he has a program to create a big list of random secure passwords for anyone.
This service is free of charge. When you arrive at the site just head over to the passwords section.
Click on Password Generator and choose your parameters.
For example, you can generate 11 passwords with each having 9 characters (including special characters).
Just click the get passwords button and you’ll get a list that you can copy to a notepad or Excel worksheets for safekeeping.
These passwords reduce the chances of a data breach and are great for online security.
No longer will you need to make up passwords that can be guessed easily by social engineers (hackers) or a security breach.
How to Organise Passwords
Now that you have created a list of passwords that are super secure let’s look at how you can organise them.
Yes, before I organised my passwords I had them all safely stored inside a document on my hard drive or computer backups.
That is until that document started to become corrupt.
Some resources recommend using a password chart in a printable format or spreadsheet templates but that is not secure at all.
Having hundreds or even thousands of passwords stored on your hard drive or even an external hard drive can be safe.
However, if you want to manage them in a more structured and efficient format here’s what you need to do.
There are several password management apps that help you store passwords securely online.
I’ve known about them for many years but I had my reservations.
When I started working with clients, I quickly realised that I needed some efficiency around password storage.
Especially when each client would share anywhere between 3 and 20 passwords with me.
One of my favourite platforms for storing passwords or securing sensitive information is LastPass.
It is a good password manager for desktop or laptop and mobile devices.
There is a free version available and you can use it to store passwords like course logins, email account or even banking platforms.
While I don’t use it to store high-risk passwords for things like bank accounts or credit cards.
It does come in handy to store logins for lower risk platforms like course logins.
LastPass is great because your clients can use it to share passwords with you quickly and securely.
To use LastPass you’ll need to download the browser extensions for Chrome or Firefox.
After downloading it you’ll see it sitting on your browser just like the screenshot below.
You’ll need to create an account and secure that account with a password.
Think of it as one master password to secure them all. The added layer of two-factor authentication really makes it a great password management tool.
Of course, you’ll need to store the password to your LastPass account in a safe place.
Whenever you navigate to a site where you have logins stored in LastPass you’ll see the little bubble indicating how many passwords you have.
Organising Passwords in LastPass
You might think that having the passwords stored in LastPass means that they are organised.
However, when you get past 100 or 200 passwords things will start to get a little stressful for you.
The best way to manage your passwords in LastPass is by creating folders and subfolders.
To organise these passwords click on the red square and you’ll see a list of options.
Click on “Open my Vault” and you’ll be brought to a list of all the passwords (shared and your own).
Creating Folders in LastPass
On the bottom right you’ll see the red plus button, hover over that to create your folders and subfolders.
Choose the option to create a folder and give your folder a name.
I use the premium version of LastPass because I use it on more than one device. A family plan is also available.
You can decide to name your folders by clients, agency or project.
The other option is to label it by important accounts, personal data or vital information.
After creating all the folders that you need run a search in LastPass to find all the passwords related to a specific folder and move them.
Now instead of having a big mess of passwords everywhere inside your digital vaults, you’ll have them organised by folders.
As you can imagine, LastPass is not the only application that you can use to organise your passwords.
There are many other solutions available on the market to help you keep track of passwords.
However, I prefer to use the ones that come recommended by people in my niche.
Another popular password management software is called RoboForm.
RoboForm differs from LastPass because it is an application that you need to download to your computer.
There is also a free version available that you can use.
Simply download it and create an account.
After creating the account you can add it as an extension to your browsers.
In terms of pricing, RoboForm is relatively low-cost compared to the security and peace of mind you get in return.
In a similar fashion to LastPass, you have the ability to create folders and subfolders that will enable you to organise your passwords easily.
All of this can be achieved right inside the desktop application in a breeze.
As you can see there is hope for you if you are one of those small business owners with hundreds or even thousands of passwords.
This ‘how to organise passwords’ resource shows you the best platforms to stay secure.
As well as where to generate passwords in batches and organise them by client, agency or project.
If you are risk-averse, then it would make sense to use more than one provider to store and organise your passwords.
It would mean remembering which password is stored where or even developing a solid system.
For example, agency passwords stored in RoboForm and direct client passwords inside LastPass.
At the end of the day, you’ll have a system in place that will save you sleepless nights, security and peace of mind.
Over to you, what are you currently using to organise passwords for your small business or personal use?
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Organising your passwords safely and securely will save you hours of manually entering them into applications.
Clients will trust you to help them run their business when you use the applications that they trust.
I started this blog in 2017 because I had a burden on my heart to reduce women illiteracy globally.
Because this is a huge undertaking I have decided to help 1,000 women over the next 10 years to become wildly successful in their online business through simplified marketing strategies.
That way we can build a strong business network of women who can donate 1% of their profit and together we can help reduce women illiteracy worldwide.
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