For a few hours on Sunday night, I was convinced I’d lost my checkbook. I looked everywhere and couldn’t find it.
Normally, I keep my checkbook in my front pants pocket. So when it’s suddenly not there, it usually wouldn’t take me long to notice. I knew I had it at church on Sunday morning, so that was the first place I looked. No sign of it.
I don’t write many checks anymore. I’m not against writing checks, but the main payees to whom I would normally write a check are now paid by my bank’s online payment system, which eliminates the possibility that anyone can conveniently claim that my payment was late: it’s amazing how fast late payments disappear when you pay electronically, where there’s a paper trail every step of the way showing when you made payment and when they actually received it, no matter when they actually get around to posting it.
As much as I hated the idea of blank checks being out there somewhere, waiting to be picked up by the wrong hands, I realized there was an even bigger danger: my checkbook has been where I’ve kept a little slip of paper containing passwords for almost all of my online accounts, from banks to credit cards to insurance.
That would have been a tremendous threat by comparison.
Everyone wants you to keep a password, everyone wants you to keep a different password with each business, and everyone expects you to remember each one without writing them down anywhere. My memory has always been above average. But even I can’t keep up with that many, especially when some sites insist that you change your passwords from time to time!
Fortunately, I found the checkbook at home. It had apparently fallen off of my desk to the floor. It was under my computer chair, and I didn’t see it until I moved the chair.
But lesson definitely learned. I’m no longer carrying the checkbook with me. It’s unnecessary, and given its other contents, too dangerous. I’ve moved that slip of paper to a more secure location, and it isn’t traveling with me, either.
I’m just glad I got a second chance to remove a potential security snafu before it became a real-life nightmare.
How do you deal with multiple passwords? Do you have a hidden cheat sheet, and do you ever keep it somewhere that you need to think twice about?