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Passwords: What You Think Should Happen

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Security Help

Last month I asked your opinions of passwords. Many experts say it’s time to get rid of them and companies like Yahoo! have taken steps like eliminating passwords in their Mail App.

Passwords are easy to forget and also pretty easy for hackers to figure out. Companies have tested out everything from facial recognition to one-use passwords sent by text to replace them and have even talked about password tattoos or pills that would allow you to access accounts with your body.

I asked if passwords should stay or go and what solutions you had for making things more secure.  The password opinions were fairly evenly split. About half of you said there was no need for a change, while other couldn’t wait.


You also offered up some ideas for keeping your passwords safe:

“I NEVER save passwords in any device, anywhere. I have a spreadsheet in my computer which lists various logins, with additional columns for usernames and passwords. The username and password columns only have numbers in them, which correspond to usernames and passwords that are then entered by hand on username and password keys in tables that have been printed out; these keys have never existed in any device… the tables were made in my computer, but the matching key info has only existed in the hand-written versions.

The only vulnerability that I see would be if someone were to access the coded spreadsheet in my system; if they figure out the username and/or password for one login, they could potentially look for any that have matching codes. But my method makes it easy to have different usernames and passwords for EVERY login, which would nix even that possibility.”


But other readers pointed out that remembering passwords could be problematic for many.

“I do that already but it gets confusing and when your almost 80 sometimes you just can’t remember. Why can’t I recycle passwords, but NO, you can’t use former passwords. I am annoyed. Wait till you have a partner who has dementia and you have to remember her passwords too, which were created by a confused brain uggggggggh !”

So what should replace the password? Your most popular solution was biometrics.


“I think a simple way to solve passwords headaches is a reasonable {cheap} way to add a fingerprint unit to every computer new & old.”

I don’t know what to replace passwords with, but it is NOT Facial Recognition. I have tried that, and find that being in a different place, the lighting does not match the one the computer has in storage. This results in having to use a password anyhow.

But some think stricter authentication is the way.

I think that two step authentication is the way to go. A password as the first step is fine because, as long as there is a second step the password can be simple and can be reused for several sites. The second step could be and authenticator (google or microsoft) , a text or any other secure form of id. The password would only be used as an entry to the site, not as a login.”


A lot of you were ready to see passwords go.

I am in favor of whatever they decide to replace the passwords. I notice that the reasons to keep passwords are not as valid as the reasons to make a change. By the way, I am 85 but do not resist changes just because that is the way we have always done it. If I were that bullheaded, I would not even touch a computer,but I am on it about 3-4 hours a day.”

“I hate passwords ! Please do something else. I don’t know what the solution is ? Let’ the experts figure that out.”

Right now the experts are trying to figure it out, but no one can seem to come up with a solution that is both secure and user-friendly. I’ll keep you up-do-date on new password tech as it develops.

If you have any suggestions about keeping passwords secure or password replacements. Please let us know in the comments.

~ Cynthia

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9 Responses to “Passwords: What You Think Should Happen”

  1. SamuelKittle says:

    I use a program called Last Pass have used it for years,you can protect all your passwords,with one master password, and it can be set up for favorites, and auto fill.

  2. Dennis says:

    Passwords are surely not a big deal. A decent PW may be useful if you might lose your laptop outside or if you have dodgy people living with you but passwords are not hacked from people’s computers,they are hacked from companies’ mainframes/servers where the passwords are openly available. Am I wrong?

  3. Jerry says:

    Thank you for tackling this problem. I’m 72years old and remembering log-in info is getting harder for me. I think the finger print is looking to be in the right direction. A portable usb device with software would work for me, I think. Once you log in no need to keep the USB plunged in it could be used on another device like a tablet. The real problem is with so me log-ins required, it gets harder to remember each password. Ya’ll are doing a great job. Love the news letters.

  4. Charlie says:

    I actually use separate passwords – at least 12+ characters long – for each
    site and I have accumulated a lot. I keep them in a Word Document – on a
    Data Guardian flash drive (actually two kept in sync). All I have to remember
    is one password. I would prefer the two-step such as was previously used as
    a password plus a key from a RSA security device but those do not seem to be available now. The issues with text messages is that phones are not 100%
    reliable and without the phone, you are without the account.

  5. Judy says:

    I used the thumb print on my new phone for protection. Guess what, it would not read my thumbprint one day, nor would it accept my manual password after so many tries. I ended up having to go through my carrier to wipe out my sim card. What a mess. I got some information back but lost almost all of my phone numbers. Yes it was backed up to cloud. Never again.

  6. Mark Roberts says:

    Very admirable that your 85yrs writing to my most favorite PC site – I’ve always been inclined to think personality makes us set for life with no need to differentiate aging – I bet I’m going think alike when I’ve doubled in age to 85yrs as I’m an elderly aged guy who will be 44yrs on the dot of new years day.

  7. Brenda says:

    I just hope and pray that the fingerprint method isn’t chosen! I have never been able to get it to work on any phone I’ve ever owned…Why, I don’t know, but it just doesn’t work for me.

  8. Eileen says:

    My only pr4oblem with the two step is giving out mobile phone number to all sorts of sites. I am very protective of my # and of course I still get robo calls and other un wanted callers but giving it out to those I don’t know…nope.

  9. David N Blondell says:

    I thought perhaps I had responded to the other request, but apparently I did not.
    I am over 80 years of age and do not disagree with the use of passwords… being safe takes many forms these days. The greatest trouble I have is when I attempt to make a change with whatever company/organization it’s like breaking some sort of code to find where to go to change a password in order to enter a new one!!! That surely needs to be simplified!
    My method is making up passwords… I do that by using the first letter of all kinds of words. It’s simple to make passwords out of children’s names, pets, streets, friends, the work place, places where one has lived, organizations or hobbies — and the list goes on and on. The passwords have both upper and lower case characters, interspersing symbols is good too. Somewhere I saw that some folks use the first letters of songs or hymns. The passwords are usually 12-15 characters long. I defy anyone to figure out my passwords. Other in how I have made them up — they have no system, there’s no reason, there’s no order for them.
    I keep them in a separate folder on my computer… and in fact I do not call them “passwords” I have given them another name, in the event someone did hack my computer. If they’re looking for the code to figure out the password — they’ll not find it on my computer.
    As a matter or fact I’ve had a lot of fun making up passwords. I have a waiting list of over 50 which I’ll use in the next go around when it’s time to change again.
    Thank you for this opportunity to speak a good word for the Password.

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