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					4/15/2010                         Tab: Codes        16b6cf94-c2e0-4c92-8423-374f37cca50d.xls




URL/item    username   password     email      other detail




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4/15/2010                                          Tab: Advice          16b6cf94-c2e0-4c92-8423-374f37cca50d.xls



                                        www.n4pcomputing.co.uk
                                                 PASSWORD ADVICE
   Rules          How to manage a Paper Codebook or Spreadsheet - your spellbook!
         The time was that no one kept a telephone book directory. Only a few numbers scribbled
         on pieces of paper. That was probably back in the 1920s, the time of Alexander Bell (the
         inventor). Likewise you may think you are only every going to visit a few web-pages and
         that one password, or passwords scattered across sticky notes will do. It is time to create
   Intro your first password book directory. The advice below is on how to go about this and use
         a spreadsheet such as Excel to replace a paper book directory. The advice equally
         applies if you wish to purchase a school exercise book and use a ruler to create columns
         on real paper. However just reading and understanding Rule Number 1 may be enough
         for now.
              You can download from our website 2 blank versions of the "spellbook", formatted ready
   Start for your use. One is the paper version for printing (larger spaces) and one the electronic or
                                                 "surfing" version.

            First, the easiest way to create a password for any Internet account is to imagine a
            situation or look around the room you are in. Choose a noun from what you can see or
            imagine of no less than 4 letters. Don't capitalise any letter, ever. Then add any number
            between 10 and 99 which first comes to find (e.g. table54). By sticking to this formula you
            will find that you will start to remember quite a few anyway. An easy creation rule means
     1      there no need to ever share passwords on different accounts (you will become
            accustomed to generating new ones via this formula). If a password is generated
            automatically for you when you join a new website, try if possible to change it to your
            preferred formula as soon as possible. An advantage of using this simpe rule is you
            know when a password is wrongly recorded by glancing at it e.g the number between 10
            and 99 is missing. Don't use proper nouns (e.g. People's names). Visualise objects!
            With the increase in identity theft it is now recommended you never use your real
            mother's maiden name nor the actual name of your pet etc when it is asked for. Reserve
            this information only for high street banks (never ISP staff) who have undergone proper
            security vetting before being employed. Website staff are not security checked as the
            banks' are and neither is your pets name private. When asked for such additional
     2      information, create a memorable alternative and use it. Maiden names can be that of a
            good author, school names of a nearby town and pet names of a famous actor. Write
            these down in your codebook's "other details" column or alternatively you may wish to
            establish a common alias (i.e. made-up) for each type of question. Fortunately if you
            keep this spellbook accurate, such additional information is not often required to fish out
            "lost" passwords.
            Often you can keep this "spellbook" open in a minimized window while surfing. Details
            can be quickly pasted or input as required. Using the same username for different
            websites is fine but always vary passwords. Else a password from a low security website
     3      may give access to a financially sensitive one. After a while it becomes second-nature to
            record codes automatically, since the difficulty of getting reminders emailed is significant.
            It is also very difficult to predict why and when in the future you might need quick access
            again to the type of websites you must be registered with to use.




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4/15/2010                                         Tab: Advice         16b6cf94-c2e0-4c92-8423-374f37cca50d.xls



            If you are using paper code directory, leave it next to the computer but do not record and
            banking access codes within it. Do that as a separate record elsewhere. If security is a
            problem, excel spreadsheets has a password protection you can use. In Excel look in the
            Tools menu, select Protection and then Protect Workbook. That will protect your
            spellbook with a password but be careful that password is not one you will ever forget!
     4
            However for quicker access I don't do this but instead keep all financial codes in a
            different spreadsheet and use a standard Pin Code maths adjustment formula e.g. -2244
            (so 5692 is recorded as 7836). However it is not recommended that you keep a record of
            Pin Code numbers, and certainly not in an insecure spreadsheet without some
            adjustment formula.
            By keeping your spreadsheet alphabetically sorted it helps you find records quickly in the
            future as the number of accounts held grows. This is an easy alphasort from Menu -
            Data - Sort . When running an alphabetical sort (perhaps after 3 or more new entries
     5
            have accumulated at the bottom) be careful to select all columns, especially the last, or
            else column records will be end up mismatched. See the rule below on archiving older
            versions to return to if mistakes happen.
            Do not simply always save each spellbook version (e.g. you codebook) over the last one.
            Instead add a higher number on the file name after each major revision. E.g As the
            beginning file is spellbook-v001 (That is to say version 001), the next version will be
            spellbook-v002 . You can then go back to spellbook-v001.xls if an error occurs during
            changes. When you then find too many old files versions stacked up in your control
     6
            documents folder (perhaps the folder is named "codes") create a new folder within it
            called "archive1". Then drag and drop all the old file versions by using Windows explorer
            once you accumulate more than 10 old file versions. Create the "archive2" folder when
            you think it is required (after about 20 versions are within it) and when you reach
            "archive3", delete the entire "archive1" folder. And so on.
            Odds and ends. In the "other details" column I record other things. Sometimes that
            includes old passwords after I change them but this is for peace of mind only. Sometimes
     7      I forget to add the .com or co.uk at the end of the website or which email address used,
            but that is normally obvious to me by default. If you only ever use one email address, the
            email address column may be superfluous to need.
                         *** Best of luck. Enjoy this experiment in better planning ***
            Only read if you plan to create your own Spellbook from scratch. Otherwise download the
   EXTRA
            layout provided on our website - see START column above for versions.
            The 5 title headings to create in the excel spreadsheet or in a paper directory are: URL
     8
            (e.g. website name), Username, Password, email address, Other details.
            Use no empty spaces on the top rows, the first row being the headers (the title heading)
     9
            only. This allows an easy alphasort from Menu - Data - Sort .
            When putting numbers into a spreadsheet such as excel (especially when pasting a long
            number codes), be sure you have previously formatted the columns for text only. Else the
     10     numbers may be truncated into zeros at the end or calculated as a formula. After creating
            your spellbook, select all the columns and then use Format - Cells to set the Number
            category as Text.




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