How to Organize and Store Your Online Passwords

Middle-aged man in blue denim shirt enters secure password in a browser site while using his laptop computer.

This blog was originally published in 2019, and it was updated in 2022.

According to a survey by Digital Guardian, 70 percent of people reported they have more than 10 password-protected accounts on the web. And 30 percent of people reported they have “too many passwords to count.”

Does that sound like you?

It can be difficult to keep track of everything, and as the number of websites you have grows, so does the challenge of organizing that list. Fortunately, there are some helpful tricks and tools to make managing your passwords easier.

Why Multiple Passwords are Essential

It’s tempting to use the same password for multiple accounts, but Nick Douglas of LifeHacker explains that reusing passwords makes it more likely for you to be hacked. If someone has access to your password, it will be easier for them to steal your information or identity.

Multiple passwords that avoid common phrases will keep all of your data more secure. It may be tempting to make several simple passwords for all the sites that you use, but according to Robert Siciliano of The Balance, doing so is a mistake. These simple passwords will be easy for hackers to decipher.

Method #1: Write Your Passwords Down

One of the simplest ways to track your passwords is to physically write them down. However, Hayley Tsukayama of The Washington Post warns that a piece of paper or notebook could be stolen, thus putting all of your passwords at risk.

Smartphone displaying a username and password login.

Nara Schoenberg of The Chicago Tribune says that a piece of paper with all of your passwords on it is even more vulnerable if you live with a roommate or in a dorm-like setting. If you live alone or with a trusted friend or family member, this method is a bit more secure.

Related: What Qualifies as a Strong Password? >>

Method #2: Store Your Passwords in a Computer Document

A similar way of storing your passwords involves creating a digital document on your computer. Schoenberg says this method is a bit more secure than simply writing down your passwords, as you have to log in to your computer to access it.

If someone gains access to this document, though, they’ll have access to all your passwords just as easily as if you wrote them down. Never share this document over the internet or via email.

Method #3: Store your Passwords on the Cloud

There are various methods of storing your passwords on the internet. One of the most common methods is via a document on a cloud-based system.

Siciliano says that storing passwords via the cloud presents a number of advantages. The cloud is easy to access on any of your devices, meaning you’ll take your passwords with you on the go. The data is also encrypted, protecting it from other online users.

However, Siciliano does warn that the cloud is not foolproof. Like all computer systems, cloud-based interfaces can be vulnerable to advanced hacking or system outages.

Related: Is your financial information really secure online?

Woman uses computer and practices online safetyMethod #4: Use a Password Management Program

Another way to store and protect your passwords is by utilizing a password protection program or app. These systems are designed specifically to organize and protect internet passwords. Many of these password managers are free. However, Jon Martindale of Digital Trends says that the most reliable of these services require a small fee to access.

David Nield of Gizmodo notes that many internet browsers have built-in password management systems of their own. These work best if you’re signing into a program that is supported by the browser, such as signing into Gmail via Google Chrome.

Drafting a wide assortment of passwords will help keep you more secure on the web, and employing a storage method will make it easy to access those passwords.

More Identity Protection Tips from Minster Bank

Keeping your identity safe is a key part of our business at Minster Bank. It’s so important to us that we host multiple Shred-It days each year – events where anyone from the community can drop off personal paperwork to be shredded, free of charge.

We’ve also put together a list of some of the biggest ways you can safeguard your identity. Learn more about how to keep your personal information to yourself and what to do if you think your identity has been stolen.

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