Some general information about passwords and security.

Remembering Your Passwords

To simplify recalling passwords, it’s easiest to reuse the same one – or maybe just a few. For online web passwords, this is an enormous security risk as outlined by Gary Rosenzweig at MacMost.

If all your passwords are unique, you need a system to maintain and track them.

On paper.

  • Conceptually, easy to understand.
  • Easy to implement.
  • Can carry with you.
  • Can be hard to keep up-to-date.
  • Error prone.
  • Not secure.
  • Inconvenient to use, especially if the passwords are strong (long and complicated).
  • No automation to help with management.
  • Not easy to share without making copies.

A computer file, maybe a spreadsheet.

  • Not as easy to understand as paper, but okay.
  • Fairly easy to implement.
  • May not be easy to carry around. Use the cloud?
  • Relatively easy to keep up-to-date.
  • Error prone.
  • As secure as your computer.
  • Easy to use with copy & paste.
  • No automation to help with management.
  • Not easy to share without making copies.

A password management program.

  • A little harder to understand.
  • Also, a little harder to implement.
  • Simple cloud storage and available on all your electronic devices.
  • Easier to keep up-to-date.
  • Errors are much reduced.
  • Very secure.
  • Easy to use with auto-fill.
  • Updating passwords is relatively automatic.
  • Can be easy to share via cloud.

Password Management Programs

There are many software programs to choose from. Some issues to consider:

  • Subscription or outright purchase?
  • Support cloud storage for backup and access across all devices (computer, cell phone, etc.)?
  • Can family share some passwords but maintain others for themselves?
  • Can other items be tracked, like software licenses?
  • Does it inform you of passwords that need attention? (duplicates, too easy, too old, etc.)

A program that we’ve used for years is iPassword. While they’re moving to a subscription model, the stand-alone version is still available.

There are lots of others:
Best password manager apps for Mac