I just had a password scare. I bought a notebook computer recently, password protected it like a smart computer user should- then put it away for awhile while I worked on more pressing projects. I finally got back to notebook this past weekend- and realized I did not remember what password I had assigned to it! I checked the list of passwords I maintain in a file folder- and discovered it was not recorded there. That seemed most uncharacteristic- I am a librarian, with all a librarian’s usual personality traits, and normally record stuff like that as a matter of course.
After a few hours spent sweating bullets, it occurred to me that I had taken the notebook into work and first used it there. I’ve also got a file folder there with passwords that I use mainly at work. I checked that file folder this morning- and, lo and behold, the notebook password was there!
I would like for you to profit from my moments of sheer terror. If you haven’t faithfully recorded your passwords in a safe place, do so right now (on your computer in a file named PASSWORDS is not a safe place, by the way). In fact, keep a record of your passwords in two separate safe places (if the place where you keep the only copy of your passwords should ever be destroyed by fire-flood-tornado-etc., you are out of luck).
Tips from your BFFs at Microsoft on creating strong passwords: