|How can seniors remember all their passwords? Part of remembering is to not have to remember. Having some sort of tool available to refer to takes away the stress to remember and can assist anyone in navigating the web. Read further to examine what tool might be right for you.|
Seniors want and need to use the internet now more than ever. But there are many hurdles for seniors to overcome before that is possible. Besides learning about computers, the internet and safety, remembering a password for a certain website can be especially challenging to a senior. Following are some suggestions to help anyone, but especially a senior, remember passwords.
As a senior, I remember life before passwords. All I ever had to memorize was my lock numbers on my gym lock and later my social security number. Oh, and maybe a few phone numbers.
How times have changed! No lockers now, my social security number is forever etched in my brain, and I don’t know any phone numbers beside my own!
But in this digital age and with so many accounts, passwords are essential for our safety and security. Especially those associated with financial accounts. However, if you are like me you can’t even remember the ones you just created yesterday.
That’s where tools may help you.
What Tools Can Help?
There are a variety of tools available to you. They seem to fall into three categories. Those are:
- Paper and pen types, or some sort of paper file
- Online management tools, called Password Managers
Deciding what tool is right for you is the first place to start. Some questions to ask yourself (or your loved one, if you are helping a senior with this concern) are:
- How easy is this tool to use?
- How much does it cost?
- Can I allow other people to have access?
- How safe is it?
A Chart Comparison
|Paper or a Simple Computer Spreadsheet||Device or Gadget||Password Manager|
|Ease of Use||Very easy. You set it up yourself.||Moderately easy to set up and maintain.||Set up you account and the system does the rest.|
|How Much Does It Cost?||Almost free or included in your computer software.||Most systems are around $10.||$5 – $10/month depending on features.|
|Accessible to Others?||You decide about accessibility, so yes it is.||Yes, if you decide to tell them.||Yes, if you decide to authorize them.|
|Is It Safe?||Yes, because only you (and those your authorize) know where it is.||Yes, as long as you keep it away from prying eyes. If you carry it with you, don’t lose it!||Yes; the companies pride themselves on this factor.|
Ease of Use
This should be the primary factor in considering how to remember passwords. A system that is easy to use and understand would be very popular. The gadgets and online tools require some set up, which may be difficult for some seniors.
If you are setting up your own system, make it simple! The columns I use in my Excel table are the name of the website/company, my user name, and my password. Since it is in an Excel table I can easily alphabetize it as I update it. Having it alphabetized (by website) lets me find the password very quickly.
How Much Does It Cost?
Thankfully, one of the cheapest, in fact basically free, is a written list. You just need paper and pencil. Yes, I mean exactly that. Write them down! I have mine on an Excel table, so I do use a computer. But you get the idea.
My friend puts his on a list on his phone. So that is basically free also. But he can’t alphabetize his. I can do so with a click of a button on mine. Which I do periodically as I add new passwords.
Gadgets seem to be about $10, but of course are just a one time fee. But other more sophisticated programs or services are around $10/month.
Can Someone Else Access My Passwords?
I’m not talking about if the system you chose is safe. I’m talking about someone you trust having access to your account. I have heard some sad stories of a widow or widower having no clue where important information was.
In that scenario they spend weeks of frustration trying to find all the important information they needed. Don’t do that to your loved ones. In addition, make sure they have access to all your accounts like your banking, investment and other financial accounts.
You will save your loved ones headaches and heartaches by including them in the details of your passwords, along with other important information. Don’t have a trusted relative? Get an attorney to maintain this information.
If you are using a device, again, tell your family member where it is and how to use it.
The programs available all have the ability to set up your loved one on your account. These programs are called Password Manager for a reason. They do help you to manage your passwords.
When deciding about what tool to use, make sure it is safe. After all, passwords are meant to keep your information safe. So you don’t want them falling into the wrong hands!
If you are simply using a paper list, make sure you tell someone where it is and what it contains. But keep it hidden. In the horrible event of a break in you don’t want your list stolen. That would mean the criminal would have access to all your accounts! Yikes!
The same applies to your device. Have a loved one involved with setting this up and knowing where it is.
The online management systems have been built to be safe. An article I read also claims that it will simplify your life. It is a well written article and even identifies three password manager companies. I suggest you read it to help make a decision about this option. Here’s the link.
Some companies will update your passwords for you and keep other information in their system. I personally haven’t found the need for this, but it may be helpful for keeping important information in one place.
Furthermore, you need to be computer savvy and not fall for scams. Check out my article about how to check for scams here.
Do you have some other ideas? Or do you have some other criterion that you would use to manage your passwords. Please leave your thoughts here. You’ll be helping others!