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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fortuna Major...

Passwords have been around for a long time.  Every kid who has a "box fort", tree house or other such secret meeting space, knows that you needed a password to enter.  Even the boy wizard at Hogwarts needed a password to get passed the "fat lady" portraits in the house of Gryffindor.

Last week I wrote about my dear friend Beverly, who passed away unexpectedly.  While Beverly and I had her paper files in order, her computer files were totally under her control.  Sure enough, no one has been able to figure out the passwords to her most important financial documents kept on line.  This means a headache for her children, more work for the attorneys, and a longer time before her estate will be settled.

Of course, if they can find a 12 year old who knows how to hack the system, they'll be in business. For most of us, that 12 year is busy doing other things.  So, it's important that someone know your computer passwords, or know how to find them in case of an emergency.

I thought I had devised an ingenious system for keeping the 47 (yes, that number is correct) different accounts I have with passwords.  Then I discovered quite accidentally one day that using the word "password" in my secret password locator, meant that anyone could find the data by entering "password" into finder on my computer.  Not what I had in mind.

There are whole companies devoted to assigning and keeping passwords and there are password books, similar to address books, and I am sure many other methods devised for keeping passwords - I am open to suggestions here.  Just find some method of giving that information to the most important people in your life.

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