Mobile Security, Part II: Managing your passwords securely

Many consumers are questioning the security of their mobile transactions and monitoring their online accounts and digital assets more carefully in recent weeks.  With scares like Heartbleed and the breach in Target consumer information in recent months, the threat of identity theft and website fraud seems to be on the rise.  According to a web article by USA Today, their user survey showed consumers are checking personal online banking accounts and credit card balances more frequently to better monitor fraud.   With all the anxiety and upheaval surrounding these security concerns, many users are adapting the method of keeping different passwords for different websites, in an attempt to be more secure.


In our last post we addressed how to develop a secure password or passphrase for your devices, applications, and websites.  Another challenge to users is the amount of passwords individuals are expected to remember for different apps, websites, personal online accounts, business account access, and sometimes also school account access.  It is not recommended to store sensitive information on your mobile device, so how do you record that information for reference while still maintaining separate passwords for security purposes?  Our experts have a few ideas for storing and recording sensitive information on your computer or mobile device.


  1. DO NOT RECORD PASSWORD INFORMATION: One of our technicians specializes in network security and administration for our company and our clients.  He says he never records password information for his personal accounts because it is too risky.  If he forgets his password, he prefers to go through the website’s recovery prompts to retrieve or reset his log-in information.
  2. TRY NOT TO STORE PASSWORDS ON MOBILE DEVICES: While there are exceptions to every rule, our technicians suggest passwords and personal data be stored as little as possible on mobile devices.  If you feel you must write down or record your password to remember it, make sure you don’t label it as such, and then keep it in a safe place.  Some users even develop a code to help them remember their log-in information!  For instance, if your password is a name and number that is significant to you, it would be easy to create a code or some prompts to help jog your memory!  Let’s say your password is the year you were born and the name of your street:  1975Mastin. Your reminder prompt could say: birth year (YYYY)street (M—-n) to give you an idea how many characters are in the password, and a clue as to the code you used.
  3. USE A SECURE SPREADSHEET TO ORGANIZE SENSITIVE INFORMATION: There are security risks associated with storing any data, no matter the method, but some users like to organize their sensitive information in a password-protected spreadsheet on their laptop or desktop computer. If that is the method you choose, please use our tips to develop a strong password to protect your digital assets! For our administrative staff accessing multiple vendor sites each day, this method is preferred.  This way it is easy to copy and paste information from the spreadsheet, so it becomes less of a chore to change the passwords regularly.

Different methods work better for different users.   As soon as you find a method that suits you, your personal information will be much more safe and secure.   Now that you know how to keep your information safe at home, make sure you check out our next post about safe browsing on your mobile device over public Wi-fi.


By: Lacey Rickert, Marketing Director at HCCS, Inc.