Wednesday, March 31, 2021

I changed all of my passwords, which wasn't fun but I'm glad I did it

For years I used virtually the same password for every website and IT system on which I had an account.

I say "virtually" because sometimes it was just that base password, while other times I added numbers and/or special characters as directed by the site.

But really, once you had discovered one of my passwords, you weren't far from getting to most of them.

Any IT security expert will tell you this is bad. Actually, any 8-year-old will tell you this is bad.

It's one thing to have an easily guessed password when it comes to my ESPN Sportszone account (the worst a hacker could probably do there is switch my "Favorite Team" setting to the Pittsburgh Steelers, which while horrifying and morally wrong is still relatively mild). It's another to be using that same password to access your bank accounts.

I keep a list of all of my/our passwords, so I looked it over and changed every one that used that same password and its variations. There were dozens and dozens and dozens of instances. It took a few hours over a couple of days to get through them all.

In some cases I not only had to go through the password changing process on the website itself, but also log out and log back in to the associated app if it's something I use on my phone.

All (and I mean all) of my passwords are now unique and full of words, numbers, and characters that likely mean something only to me. Or they mean nothing at all.

That way, should one password be compromised in an all-too-common data breech, none of the others will be threatened.

If you're someone who uses the same password and close variations of it over and over, I suggest you go through a similar process. It's a little tedious, but it's safer.

And you'll feel like an actual responsible adult. Even at age 51, there's something to be said for that.

1 comment:

  1. jack and i use an address book to keep all our passwords just in case we lose our minds one day. good idea to change them all,, might work on that today, thank you