It's 2020. Please stop Using Printed Password Keepers

As imagined by science fiction, 2020 featured clandestine androids colonizing Venus, teleportation, telepathy, flying cars, and a big roast dinner zapped into a tiny pill.

What we didn’t imagine was printed password templates as a way to remember passwords. After becoming aware of the array of “free printable password keepers” on Pinterest, the NordPass team urgently formed a circle, looked to the heavens, and prayed to the CyberGods for the safety of all those who use said “printable password templates”.

If you’re one of them, we might manage to save you first!

The pain of passwords

Every serious company that cares about the security of its users will protect you with passwords — it's become mandatory for doing just about anything online. To protect your accounts properly, you’re forced to create super strong passwords that are incredibly difficult to remember. We get it, and we salute you.

But carrying around a paper password log is a ticking security timebomb waiting to go off. Whoever is lucky enough to find that precious piece of paper could lift your valuable information and documents scattered throughout your emails or social media and potentially dismantle your entire life. Just head to Have I Been Pwned to see how many times your email has been part of a data breach.

If I write down my password, what could happen?

Writing down your passwords is never a good idea, be it in a password book, on a free printable password keeper, or on a good old sticky note. It’s a recipe for disaster and here’s why:

  • Paper can be taken. If you have nosy flatmates or teenage kids who might delight in snooping through your accounts, you shouldn’t write your passwords on a printable password keeper.

  • If you travel internationally, a search at the border could reveal your passwords to a foreign government.

  • If your passwords are penned on sticky notes all over your desk at work, they could be stolen anytime you leave your desk unattended. And if someone were to use your account or logins to attack the company, you would be the one to blame.

  • If somebody steals or sees that paper password log or has physical access to your laptop, it’s game over. Your laptop password can be cracked in minutes to steal your files and the rest of your stored passwords – this is also why you shouldn’t let your browser remember your passwords. They’re not encrypted and even a novice can easily steal them.

  • If somebody breaks into your house, they could steal your password book along with your laptop or PC, in which case they’ll have all the time in the world to unravel your data.

We know what you’re thinking. Who’s going to bother rummaging through my belongings? Nobody cares about my passwords.

Millions of accounts are hacked each day

Nearly 8 billion personal records were breached last year, with millions of passwords up for sale on the dark web as we speak. Your logins are a goldmine for hackers. At the very least, you should tightly secure your email and banking passwords – never use the same password for different accounts and make them as nonsensical as possible.

However, that doesn’t mean you should assume your less important accounts are safe from fraud. Your Spotify, Amazon, or Instagram accounts can be used to uncover valuable pieces of your identity, like your home address. They could also be used to break into your other accounts, which is easily done if you’ve used the same password for multiple accounts. Your data can then be used to clone your identity, steal your money, commit fraud, apply for illegal passports, and worse.

If you use printable password logs for convenience, you’re simply setting yourself up. Just imagine the tedious, tear-inducing process of changing all of your passwords if you lost that piece of paper one day. What if it fell out of your bag, got left on a train, or accidentally went through the washing machine?

Let’s also not forget that most sites will email you a link to reset your password if you want to change it. If you’re logged out of your account and/or a hacker quickly resets your email password, you won’t be able to access the reset link in your email. By now, you can see how quickly this situation can get out of hand – all because that lovely template has gone missing.

It’s time to ditch those scraps of paper and upgrade to something more secure, and just as easy to use.

A password manager

What you need is a personal password manager at your fingertips 24/7. A secure password vault in your phone, tablet, or computer that stores and secures all your passwords with the world's most advanced encryption.

NordPass is that password manager.

NordPass generates and remembers your passwords for you. All you need to access them is one master password or your fingerprint. The information is saved to your device and secured with powerful encryption that’s almost impossible to hack.

With NordPass Free, you can access your passwords on any device (only the number of active sessions is limited).

Unlike the printed password keeper template you’re endangering yourself with, you’re less likely to forget, lose, or get your password manager stolen.

To make things even easier, NordPass generates strong passwords for you and auto-fills them so you can get rid of password stress, forever. You can also use it to store other data, like notes or credit card numbers.

A perfected blend of convenience and security, NordPass can be integrated directly into your browser by downloading the NordPass extension to your device. And finally, one of the best things about NordPass is that your encrypted passwords are stored on our servers, but the master encryption key is not – your passwords are decrypted on your device or in your browser, so no one can see any of your password information, including us.

Get the free NordPass app today, import your passwords, and never think about them again.

Monica Webster
Verified author
Monica is the spirit of our content team. Her bubbliness and creativity sparkle her articles. She loves to investigate various security related problems and bring useful tips to readers. When she is not writing about technology, she explores art.
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