Passwords and personal technology records

Tech Support is often unproductive until you find necessary personal technology records.   Most of us have too many accounts and passwords to remember.  When things are urgent lost or missing stuff causes frustration and wasted time and money.  Lack of attention, bad communication with technicians, paper shredding, or poor housekeeping are often how your technical information is misplaced.  If you do not know where some of the item’s below then start gathering then together before it is urgent.  Here is a list of some tech related items that are helpful for maintaining your technical systems.  Of course, nobody has all of these items but others people have several of a single item listed.  Below is a memory jogger for you.  

There is no perfect way to keep all this info. Unfortunately, it is a balancing act between loosing access to your passwords and/or possibilities of having the list fall into the wrong hands.  In general keep this info in at least 2 “secure” locations and formats.  LastPass

4 types of passwords:

Blank password devices:    Sometimes bypassing passwords is handy when loss of access has larger ramifications than hacking.  Also sometimes the device will ask for a password even though it is blank.  If you do not know it is a blank password it can waste to hours of guessing incorrectly.

Default passwords:            Some common devices like routers have default password to help with tech support issues.  Normally you have to lose data or settings and reset everything to get back to restore to a default factory state.  It is funny to me when techs require a 36 character random passwords on a devices that you can crack by simply hitting the reset button.

Easy passwords:  example:  password   A choice when software requires a password but security is not important.  Perhaps your software requires a password or to keep a preschooler from breaking something.  Note that cracking or hacking software can often crack easy passwords that are all letters or all numbers.  This can be good or bad depending on if you lost your password or if somebody unauthorized is being malicious.

  • Complex passwords:          example:    paS$w0rd!23~password   many websites and devices require more complex or longer passwords. Password hacking technology has improved this year so it is important than ever to use complex passwords where personal data is invloved.  The most common websites that get hacked are common email sites like hotmail, AOL, Yahoo and facebook.  These sites definitely need complex passwords. Passwords are almost always case sensitive.  Mixing case, letters, numbers and punctuation marks make a password much harder to crack/hack.  On the downside, having a very secure password can contribute to data loss since passwords are normally a requirement for data encryption.  Encryption keeps hackers out of your data but can mean that common password loss or partial device failures can result in permanent data loss.  Is it complex enough?  Microsoft Password strength Checker  How do I choose a good password?

Below is a memory jogger to help you locate your Personal technology records:

Computers and Servers                computer   workgroup / homegroup    path, service tag or other

Main Computer/Server

Computer or account 2

Computer or account 3

Laptop / Tablet

NAS or Backup location access

Network share mappings

Printer make model and ink cartridge numbers

Apple Computers and devices:

     Master Admin Login.  (Required to install software, printers or change settings etc.

AppleID is required for any iPhone, iPad, iPod, iTouch / iTunes etc (s).  Without that you can lose your purchased media and lose your warranty or tech support.  This is often a problem for families with kids or for anybody who have changed their email address.  

Android(s)       master phone(s) Google account:

Email host acct 1

               acct 2

Email account(s) settings necessary for each account to use any full featured email client software like apple mail or outlook:

==================================================

Name                        :

Application                : 

circle:      IMAP, POP3 or Exchange                    port          security type
incoming Server         : _._._

SMTP Server               : _._._

Security type             : 

Authentication           :

User                          :
Password                   :
Client software used  :
==================================================

Software versions and Keys:  Operating Systems, Microsoft Office, Accounting software and Adobe creative software,  McAfee, Norton, Symantec etc. With a record of your exact software version and it’s unique key or serial code so you can usually reinstall your software.  This is code is sometimes called a COA (Certificate of Authenticity).  Some software like MS Office has limit activations or limit updates too limit pirating and increase sales.  In general the more they charge for software the more important it is to saving the key or serial code.   On the other hand, you often can work around loosing this info when reinstalling freeware or driver disks because the more updated version can often be downloaded.  

Operating System

Office suite 

Adobe suite     

Accounting

Anti Virus Sub

Other

Network:

      Router 

     Administration IP address (aka LAN default gateway) login and password

     Wifi SSID:

     key or passphrase:

     Special configurations for VPN or port forwarding etc.

  Access Point or repeater

     Administration IP address login and password

     Wifi SSID:

     key or passphrase:

and tech support access to network:  external ip address etc

Cloud Data Back-up and Sync providers:

Internet Services provider, circle: Comcast, AT&T, WOW etc:  (Without this info then no tech support, changes upgrades or downgrades etc. Some of this is available on your router label, bill or installation documents.  Other times installers just plain forget to share this with you).   Note that essential account info for Phone, Cable and Internet may be different even if the provider is the same company.

    ISP internet customer service phone

     Phone and TV customer service phone
ISP account number
masteraccount@yourISPdomain.___ email address
master email account password

Web hosting      account:                         login pw

    Domain registrar account:

     FTP logins and passwords

     WordPress logins, links and pw

Special Business management software accounts and support:

    QuickBooks/ Quicken

    Business System

Websites and subscriptions      (Not normally needed by you but not your support tech)

    Amazon

    AOL

     BANKS
business web support
buying clubs
credit cards
eBay
facebook
Google
Google+
Hulu
LinkedIn
memberships

     Netflix

     PayPal
photo sharing
Picasa
recurring payments and bills
service clubs
twitter
video sharing
VOIP
YouTube
MSN /hotmail/ Microsoft

Security Camera(s) and DVR notes:

Door Keys

Door entry and alarm codes

 

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