No matter how old you are, remembering passwords is just frustrating. So many programs and accounts need a password and it can be difficult to keep up with all of them. So how can older adults keep track of their passwords?
5 Solutions For Seniors to Help Them Remember Their Passwords
- writing down your information on index cards, spreadsheets, journal
- using third party programs like LastPass
- save your passwords through your browser
- create a “secret” email account
- using gadgets to keep track of your passwords
We all know it’s important to use a conglomeration of letters, numbers and symbols and we also know that all passwords should be changed about every 6 months or so.
This is a difficult task for anyone, no matter what your age. But, as we all grow older, we do tend to have more difficulty remembering things so the task of recalling passwords for all the programs that we need to use can be overwhelming.
If you are looking for ways to help yourself or an elderly parent or senior loved ones to remember their username and passwords then read on.
1. The Pen And Paper Method
My mom-in-law uses this method and I have to admit, I do too for some specific accounts.
Create a central location to write down the name of the program, the username and password. It could be a journal, a rolodex of index cards, an address book, anything that can be organized in such a way so that it’s easy for someone to find what they are looking for.
Don’t forget to also include any other information such as pin numbers, etc. Not all programs require this but if they do, it’s important to include those in your list.
There’s a great little Password Book for seniors that would make a nice gift for someone!
2. Third Party Password Manager Programs
Third party programs are generally online programs and/or apps that you purchase and usually pay a monthly fee. They are a great way to save passwords but if your senior loved one has trouble accessing those programs then it’s not a viable option.
Some of the password manager programs that we recommend are…
- Last Pass
All of these password management programs offer similar services and are fairly low cost for what you get, so they are a good bang for your buck.
Any one of these programs can work very well for you so take some time to look over each one to see what price plan and set of features works best for you, your family and your senior loved ones.
The beauty of the Easeenet program is that it’s tailored specifically for non-techies and provides the kind of dashboard / interface that makes navigating the Internet much easier – especially for older adults.
An additional feature, which I think is great, is the legacy contact. So, if anything happens to you, all the information in your Easeenet account is easily accessible by the person you designate as your legacy contact.
Believe me, this is something I would have loved to have after my husband passed away suddenly. Trying to find accounts and passwords was a stress that I didn’t need at that time.
Has a multitude of services for both personal and businesses. It generates passwords for you, gives you the option to log in with facial recognition or your fingerprint. Can work on one device or more.
Has a free 30 day trial and is quite inexpensive for all that it offers you!
The LastPass program is probably one of the most well known password managers available.
Like the other programs we mention, it’s cost is quite low and they offer 3 different price plans for personal use. They even have a free version for one user!
The Enpass program has a free version for their Desktop application but again, to get the more robust programs, the price is fairly low.
The extra feature that Enpass offers is that they also work to protect your credit cards, your identity, social security and other credentials. This might be a very handy service for some older adults.
The 1Password program is very easy to use for all age groups so this may be a good option for older adults who have problems using apps and software.
Just like all the other password managers it works to keep your information encrypted and secure.
The Dashlane program saves your passwords and other personal information such as your credit card and other details.
It basically works to make what you do online much easier, faster and safer.
Like some of the other password manager programs, LogMeOnce offers additional security services – again for a fairly low price considering the multitude of protection that you get.
This program offers a password manager, identity theft protection and a cloud encrypter all rolled into one!
All three browsers that most of us use, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Google Chrome give you the option to save passwords which can auto populate the page so that you don’t have to enter the information each time.
You can also access this list of saved passwords if needed. But again, if the elderly person cannot access this list of saved passwords, it won’t help in the long run. Unless of course they have someone who can help them with this.
Personally, I don’t recommend this method simply because it’s not very safe and could be susceptible to being stolen via malware.
4. Secret Email Account
This technique is an overall good technique not just for passwords but for any type of sensitive information of yours that is online.
The basic idea is to create a separate email that is ONLY used for things like your bank, your auto insurance company, your health care company, financial planner, etc. This helps to keep this sensitive information in a more secure place (vs. having everything jumbled together in one email).
So, to use this to remember passwords you could keep your passwords list on a spreadsheet on your computer and then email that list to this particular email account.
As you update and change your passwords – you would re-send an updated version and of course, delete the older ones.
I can’t write this article without including gadgets that can help you to remember passwords and keep them safe too.
Password Creation Techniques
We all know (well, most of us at least) that passwords these days need to be a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. The idea is to make it as difficult as possible to figure out what the password might be.
But for seniors who want to recall a password, whether it’s a master password or not, it’s very difficult to remember this combination.
So, a trick I read once a while ago was to use a complete sentence. Something like…
The name of my dog when I as 10 was Snoopy.
My wife and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon in 1935.
As long as they are able to remember the sentence they used, then this trick will work.
I would recommend to avoid using things like family member names, pet names, birth dates, house numbers, etc. Any information that is already tied to your name (and can be easily found online) should not be used as your password.