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Muffy Mendoza is the mama-in-chief at brownmamas.com, a lifestyle site that focuses on helping Black mothers enjoy everyday life. She often blogs about making life easier for moms using technology.
July 24, 2012Net Nanny for Android 2.0
May 06, 2017
He’s got my password, again! Not a hacker. It’s my teenage son, and I have no idea how he is doing it.
So, I did what any sane parent would do. I changed it. But, oh how slick teenagers can be. I changed the password four times before I realized that he had found out the password for my email address and was resetting the password.
Now that I’m up to speed to his game, I’ve taken extra steps to protect all of my passwords. Here are some tips on protecting your passwords before your super smart teenager gets a hold of them.
If you’re anything like me, you’re horrible at remembering things. It’s just easier for me to make some of my passwords the same. That is, until I became the mom of a teenager.
I know it adds another item to your long list of things to do, but try varying your passwords.
I use an app to keep track of all my passwords. When I need to remember a password, I just go in the app and copy and paste. It adds an extra step, but it keeps my son and my family safe. I’ve traded a small loss for a relatively big win. I’ll take that.
(There are free apps like LastPass, that helps keep track of your passwords and hides them from intruders, big and small.)
My old passwords were usually things I could remember, like a friend’s name, a birthdate or other important, memorable number. But, guess what? Common knowledge is commonly known by everyone including your kids. It wasn’t very hard for him to guess.
Another way to make your password not-so-memorable is by using a complicated system to create passwords.
A good friend told me to look up a word in the dictionary and put it next to one of my neighbor’s addresses backwards with a random keyboard symbol. Not so easy to guess now. Find your own password complication method and use it.
If all else fails and you “just ain’t got time for that,” as my mother would say, just make up a random password and forget it. When you need to get access to the software, just hit the “forgot password” button and make a new one.
This will ensure the password is constantly changing and make it harder for your teenager to guess it. I’ve found that children between the ages of 10-18 aren’t an overly persistent bunch. They want things easy and they want them now.
After trying to gain access too many times, and failing, your teen will likely just give up (mine did). This is by far the easiest way to protect your password.