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national "change your passwords" day

January 17th, 2007, is hereby declared as National Change Your Passwords Day. Get your tools together and get ready! There are dozens of password management tools, including a moleskin notebook. A low-tech strategy that has served me extraordinarily well is writing the accounts and passwords out longhand on paper, then laminating the paper, and storing it somewhere safe. For extra points, xerox that and put it in your safety deposit box with your passport and your offsite backups. (No, even I don't have a safety deposit box with offsite backups.) For casual passwording, I use the Mac OS X Keychain Access application. Once I used a Palm Pilot password vault, then discovered that sync'ing the application did not also sync the data. Whoops.
Over the next few weeks I will post more suggestions on getting psyched up for National Change Your Passwords day.
A parting thought: Over the past year, to how many people have you revealed a password? Common reasons for revealing a password include "I'm offline and I need that email message," "tech support needs to log in to my computer," and "my boyfriend's going to the ATM so he's getting cash for me too." Has your relationship with any of those people changed since you revealed a password? How about your relationship with any of the people who might have overhead that conversation? If your passwords were compromised, how much money could an evildoer steal from you in one day?

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