If you’re sick of forgetting your passwords, one simple solution will save you from unnecessary work resetting them in the future. Creating a secured spreadsheet with your saved passwords is one of the best ways to do this because it serves as a hub for all login credentials, and with only one password to remember, you’ll always have access.
Step 1: Create the Spreadsheet
You can do this with any spreadsheet program like Excel, but we’ll use Numbers for this tutorial. Open Numbers and create a blank spreadsheet.
Step 2: Establish the Headings
Fill in the column headings with text to describe what will be in the corresponding cells. Here’s an example of what you can do:
Step 3: Fill in the Blanks
You can utilize the Notes field to add any secondary information you’d like to remind yourself of. Here are examples of a note:
Step 4: Secure Your Document
You’ll want to set up a password for this spreadsheet file because if anyone gains access to your computer, they can retrieve or even copy the file to their own device and have access to all your login credentials. You don’t want that, so we’ll assign a strong, secure password to lock this document. It will only be viewable when that password is entered.
Go to File > Set Password…
Step 5: Back It Up
Backup is the most important thing you can do with your computer. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing all your data, which often can’t be recovered or, if it could be recovered, would be costly. You don’t want only one version of your passwords, so you’ve got a few options to back this file up. (It is recommended that you have two backups in place.)
- Put the file on a USB flash drive or external hard drive. If you back up through Time Machine, this is already being done for you.
- Upload the file to iCloud. If you do it this way, you can access your passwords document from anywhere. On your iPhone or iPad, you can even use Touch ID to unlock the document.
- Print out a paper copy and keep it in a safe place.
If you keep the file on an external drive, you’d need to re-save the updated document to that location. (If you’re using Time Machine, just make sure that your backup is current.) The convenience of iCloud, with the security of Two-Factor Authentication and Touch ID, is the easiest way to ensure that your backup is current. If you use iCloud to back up, any changes you make to the document will be saved in the cloud as well.
It is also highly recommended that you don’t use the same password for multiple accounts and make your passwords strong, with at least 8 characters and multiple capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Try not to use words or phrases, or if you do, substitute certain letters with a number or symbol that resembles the letter (like in the examples above).
If you’d like assistance setting up this document, stop in and we can help get your life organized!