Every Friday, I have a reminder to update 10 of my passwords to my online accounts. I value the safety of my identity and want it to be hard for hackers to create chaos in my online life.
Back in the day (pre college), I used to have one password and I used it for everything. It didn’t matter if it was my login for my ESPN account or my bank, my password was the same.
Then I got a randomly generated password for my college email account and once I had memorized it, I started using that password for anything I needed a ‘secure’ password. Basically any account that had my banking information, now had that password.
This is particularly bad, because if someone got that one password, they could get into all of my accounts.
I liked having one strong password that I could remember for everything as it was easy to log into sites very quickly.
Then, one day, my eBay account was hacked and someone purchased a $500 phone from my account. After getting that all cleared up, eBay reset my password and I now had a third password to use to set up online accounts.
So, when I’d sign up for a new online profile, I’d pick one of the three. Then when I came back to log into the site, I’d only have to try three different ones.
Fast forward to last year.
I started using a program called 1Password to start generating and saving new passwords for my accounts. It’s got a great feature built in that you can control the ‘formula’ of your password. You can set how many characters and how many numbers or symbols make up your password.
After generating the password, it will prompt you to save your username / password in the 1Password vault.
Last year I was really good with adding my accounts into 1Password, but I wasn’t good about making sure my passwords were unique to each individual account.
That’s where Password Friday comes in to play.
Currently I have 335 usernames and passwords stored in my 1Password account and a little more than 100 are older than one year old.
I use the Security Audit to find my oldest accounts and update the passwords to about 10 accounts each Friday. The oldest accounts = the accounts that have been stored the longest without the password being updated.
I’ve been working at this for a few months now and it’s actually been a fun activity to start a Friday. It’s sometimes a challenge to find the ‘Reset my password’ link so I make a game of it to see how fast I can update a password.
My thought is that I will continue until all of my passwords are unique and then I’ll start over because the passwords I changed first will have remained the same for about a year.
I’ve also been closing accounts that I no longer need and merging duplicate entries in 1Password.
I’ll save how to user 1Password for another post, and highly recommend you to start using a tool like 1Password or LastPass for storing all of your passwords.