The Care & Feeding of Your Home

And the Password Is…

By “Handyman“ Bob Stronghandymanbob_logo-8x6

I have enough passwords in my life!

Hello readers, I just had to create yet another over the weekend to access some training modules. I literally stared at the screen thinking, “I can CREATE a password, but can I REMEMBER it?”

There should be an easier way.

Managing your passwords…does it drive you crazy? Here are tips from the experts as well as a warning story.

All the computer experts tell us, “Don’t write your password on a sticky note on your monitor.” Good advice! At some point, the sticky stuff will dry out, the paper will drop onto the floor, and you’ll find your password stuck to someone’s shoe.

My friends who do computer networking and security for a living use special programs for storing all their hundreds and thousands of passwords. That’s the smart way to do it, I guess, but what happens if you lose that master password?

One friend uses an alphabetical phone/address book and writes the password in pencil so it can be updated on schedule. I know you’re thinking: “What if there’s a fire?” She keeps that book in in a fire safe!

Experts take this seriously, and I keep telling myself I need to develop better habits.

Logging in is the stressful part. Did I remember it right? Will I get locked out for using the wrong password too many times?

Logging out of secure applications and logging off your computer is also very important.

As a home-based business, I know I’m supposed to log off my computer and shut it down at night.  However, Murphy’s Law always has its way with me. The minute I turn off the computer, I need to use it for something else.

When doing your accounting, either in the cloud or on a program on your computer, it’s wise to log off at the end of your session instead of waiting until the end of the day. I find that it’s too easy to forget, especially if the screen is dark. You will leave the office thinking everything is safe and secure.

What’s a physical breach?

While we think of most password issues as being done by hackers in foreign countries and criminals scouring through our garbage can, some breaches can take place on your premises.

Think of the variety of people who might have access to your work or home computer, either during the day or overnight:

  • Building owners and managers
  • Leasing companies
  • Custodians
  • Building maintenance companies
  • Waste haulers
  • Recyclers
  • Delivery people
  • Customers and competitors
  • Salespeople
  • Visitors
  • Family members

Even people asking for directions or wanting to use your phone should be supervised.

I recall dropping off some paperwork at an office. The receptionist carried the papers back to the manager for me. On her computer monitor were all kinds of stickies with what seemed to be passwords.

Handyman Bob offers home improvement advice on his radio show, Around the House, every Saturday from noon to 2:00 on FM News 101 KXL. And, during the week, he performs residential and commercial asbestos surveys. Learn more at