A quick reminder about keeping track of your passwords today. If you forget the password or PIN number to your device or an important account like email, it can be a disaster. You could be stuck with a $1000 paperweight or lose years’ worth of correspondence.

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And if your PC or an account is automatically logging you in, it can be easy to lost track of usernames and passwords. Then when you need them, you can figure it out for the life of you.

Here’s what I want you to do. Create a list of all of the passwords for every device and every account. Your PC or Mac, phone, tablet, email, social media, bank accounts — every single thing you have that requires a password. I’m talking about a physical list that you keep somewhere safe in your home. Maybe even stash an additional copy off-site in a safe deposit box.

You’re going to write down every password and the date. If you decide to or are required to change your password, you’re going to get your list and change it on the list before you even change the password to the device or account.  It’s way too easy to forget to write it down. You’ll add the date of the change and you will carefully check what you’ve written down against the actual password. If your handwriting isn’t so great, type it up. Whether or not you choose to save the document on your device is up to you.

Don’t make any changes without recording it on a central document that is always kept in the same place. And not just on the device that you might get locked out of.

If you are part of a business or organization that gives devices to your employees, you pick the log-ins and passwords. Don’t get stuck in a situation where you don’t have the password or PIN to get into the device and the former employee or group member isn’t willing or able to give it to you.

These steps can save you a world of trouble.