Passwords, Logins, Accounts…. Oh My!
Get Organized: February 2020
By Jhonee Fillmore
It can be really overwhelming to keep track of all of your accounts. So many accounts must be created for various areas of your life or on behalf of your family members.
Just when you get use to using the same few passwords for everything and feeling pretty sane, a couple of new accounts require you to have passwords with “their” requirements. Therefore, more passwords are born in your life. And let’s not forget to mention the logins for your accounts. Some logins are your email address, but wait… which email address? Or was this the account that has the custom login? And which login goes with which password? Wait; was there a PIN number too? And where on the site do you login? And darn, who was it that I spoke with when I was having an issue? Where is my reference number? Ahh!!! Am I speaking your language? Let’s get this simple for you and start 2020 with a bang.
Keeping accounts, logins and passwords organized
We all have our preferences and feelings of security when it comes to the topic of where to store your passwords. I am not going to advise on whether you should store your password digitally or handwritten and tucked away. I just want wherever you keep them, to be organized.
Whenever you create a new account, IMMEDIATELY make sure you record the following information (if applicable) and write tidy: Company name, login, password, PIN, account number, email address, website, security questions/answers and date created.
Sometimes when you setup your security questions you are made to choose questions and answers that aren’t exactly accurate for yourself. You are not likely in the future going to remember your on the spot thinking so do yourself a huge favor and record these.
In the future if you are changing a password, make sure you update the password on your record and make a note of the date it changed.
I like to keep one big list of accounts that I have between work, family, fun, banking, utilities, investments, etc.. I keep this list at home. Some of these accounts I need to access on the go and feel safe for them to travel with me. For example, I often renew my library books on my phone while waiting for appointments so I keep that information tucked inside of my phone for quick access and a quick check off of my to-do list.
Keeping disputes organized
We have all been there when you have a problem with a company and call in. You speak to one representative and then get transferred to another department and so on. Then on another day you speak to an employee who informs you of the exact opposite of the previous employee whereas both have clearly informed you that they alone are correct. Sound familiar?
I have learned through much experience to document everything. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! When placing a phone call, email or letter to resolve a problem for yourself, include these items in your documentation: Date, phone number dialed, representative name, representative direct line if possible, reference number and make notes of everything they discuss with you. If they say they are going to transfer you, ask them for the department name and the direct phone number to that department for when you get disconnected or need to reach that direct department in the future.
Keep track of any and all communication in one spot such as phone conversations, emails and/or letters. When you collect all of this information and misinformation from a company you are more likely to win the frustrating battle as you can present the chain of communication you have experienced. I have personally had some great outcomes arise from extremely frustrating situations when having my documentation on my side. Your chances of a great outcome are so much better if you are organized and oriented while moving through the process.
Don’t let 2020 get the best of you. Get your accounts organized today.
Jhonee Fillmore is the owner of Missplaced Organizing / www.thedavenportcompany.com/missplaced.