Open Thread

Open Thread Update: Password Fatigue

Remember when “Password” was just a game show?

“Password fatigue” is an epidemic – not as serious as Covid-19, but wildly prevalent nonetheless, with almost 300 people responding to our poll (you can still take part, below).  Thanks to all the readers who offered their own solutions, from writing them down (39 percent), to apps (9 percent) to using their devices’ systems (7 percent). I can sympathize with the 14 percent of readers who didn’t subscribe to websites or go to events because of password hassle…and most of all with the 31 percent of respondents who admitted they have trouble with passwords no matter what.

To recap, if you want to delegate password management, here’s a good roundup.    At last count I have 20+ passwords and one more just joined the count. Are we having fun yet?

And a special thanks to the people who wrote in and shared their nominees for Most Frustrating Password Experience;  insurance companies, telecom companies and the IRS got special mentions. Let us know in the comments if you’d like to share your nominees for Most Annoying Password Situation and we’ll do a follow up Open Thread on the biggest offenders.


Tell us about your 'password fatigue."




Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at



31 responses to “Open Thread Update: Password Fatigue

  1. I know it is not a good idea to use one password for all sites. However, it becomes difficult to remember all the different passwords I have for different sites. In addition each site has different requirements for the password. To make things even worse many sites require you to change your password every couple of months. I wish Senior Planet could help by directing us to safe programs which will manage our passwords with safety. This program should allow us to enter a master password and the program will enter the proper password for the site we are at. Thank you for your help in this matter.

  2. My experience is similar to previous replies. I write my passwords (and also security questions & answers, if any) down in a small address book. I also keep a list in the computer in a file with a boring name. It’s a table document that runs to 8 pages when printed (double spaced!). I also need to indicate which email account I use for each website, because I use 4 different email addresses, each one for different purposes.

    The worst websites to use are Verizon and Aetna, as they require me to change the password every 3-6 months. Verizon even requires that you pick a visual icon as part of your identity. Several websites don’t accept my password or username if I haven’t visited in a while, even though I have typed them correctly. This requires contacting the website to ask WTF, then re-registering and creating new usernames and passwords.

    I don’t mind the password creation requirements, but I do mind the extra layers of “security” some websites are larding on. It’s NOT for MY security, it’s for them to cover their own behinds! Then, there are the websites that don’t accept my password, even though I have typed it correctly, many times! I attribute these sign-in problems to the website having internal problems, probably an incompetent webmaster!

  3. My password to an online auction site (not EBay; brick-and-mortar with absentee bidding options) was hacked twice in a 3-month period. I received notifications both times from an Equifax identity theft monitoring service.

    I just changed this password for the second time.

    I hold my passwords securely, so I am assuming these thefts are occurring either through a) a big weakness in the auction site’s software or b) insider theft.

    I contacted the website directly about this but haven’t heard back.

    Should I simply abandon this site?

  4. If you are using a Macintosh _computer_, not iPhone or iPad, your Mac has an app called Keychain where you can create Secure Notes.
    The password to open those Secure Notes will be your Admin password, the password you use to log into your Mac computer.

    1. true but if your computer gets hacked, all your passwords are compromised, we tend to believe that macs are more secure than Pcs but we also know that hackers are getting better all the time, apparently they have nothing else to do.

    2. Absolutely. I have a mac and I use a paid for security and cleaning app. I have over 40 passwords for different sites. And they are held under an encrypted file on my mac and also on a printed out version. I actually looked at some of these so called one password companies like have I been pwned. But even they are not secure according to the tech experts.

  5. I too, use a password book. I’ve heard people say you shouldn’t write them down where people can find them. However, I live alone, and given the piles on my table, no one who doesn’t know me, would ever find it. I do hope, however, that should someone need to find them – upon my death, say, they’d be able to – to close down all my subscriptions!

  6. I enter all my passwords in a list which I keep in my email program in 3 different places in case I lose one, and also printed from time to time. And yes, I think it’s the most annoying thing, especially when they demand HOW we should make up the password. Then some sites, notably Microsoft and a couple of others, expect us to memorize it since they don’t allow you to copy/paste them. I think if I myself don’t mind the risk of making an easy pw, no site has the right to order us to make it difficult to memorize. And, no, I don’t trust any site to hold my pw’s including (or perhaps, especially) Google and Facebook. :D

  7. I write passwords in pencil in The Personal Internet address & password logbook by Peter Pauper Press. Like an address book. Life changing.
    I use a combination of items for passwords.
    I enable Touch ID on my iPad and IPhone so I can get on my most used sites without using a password.
    For one password that I have to change every 6 months, I use the same letters/numbers and add a last digit that I change each time.
    No stress.

  8. From my work, I learned to deal with multiple computer accounts and a need to change my password every 6 months. So think of each password as having two parts, one fixed and the other as a variable. The variable part is the same on all of my computers. The only frustrating part was when I received an announcement that a second computer required a password update and I had to change my passwords again on all of the computers I had access to. This system worked great for me otherwise. But now I am retired and even with the passwords written down my wife finds my passwords totally baffling.

    1. Hi Sarina, I have used Dashlane for years with no problems whatsoever. I recently signed up for the premium version so that I could use it on my phone as well as my Laptop, but the free version works really.



  9. I have a special booklet to write all my passwords , it works for me. I use abreviation for either, my favorite movie is….or my favorite city…or my favorite song. Sample:
    Myfsois55@Rdo is=: My favorite song is 55@ Radio

    1. I use old addresses which have numbers, letters and symbols (apt. #411). I’ve moved quite a bit. I know many people in NYC don’t move–especially if they have a rent controlled or stabilized apt. Or you can use addresses for relatives, good friends, etc. that you may easily remember.

  10. Verizon and Verizon Wireless are the worst! They never accept my password, even though I have it written down and I’m sure I put it in correctly. Then I end up having to go through the whole shebang of changing my password each time I get on. And this is a “communications” company!

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