Passwords on Paper

Sometimes this can be the best way


Why are we bringing ink and paper into this?

Passwords can be a tricky thing. They need to be random, long, and unique but we also need to remember them. In most cases, this problem is solved by using a password manager. And you definitely should opt for a password manager!

For those that either can't use a password manager or just haven't reached that step in their security journey, we recommend using good ol' pen and paper.

It's far from perfect! But we believe that it does provide better theoretical security than other commonly used methods of storing passwords. This is especially true is only used temporarily, or while memorizing a new password.

Example of an index card for temporary passwords

Example of an index card for temporary passwords

Some commonly used password storage methods that we believe you shouldn't use:

  • Spreadsheets, documents, or text files
    • on your laptop or desktop
    • in Google Drive
    • in Office 365
  • Built-in password managers
    • in your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari)
    • on your mobile device
  • Mobile device note apps

Take care when using passwords on paper:

  • Don't let others see them
  • Don't leave them on your desk
  • Don't stick them your monitor or anything else
  • Don't put them under your keyboard
  • Do store them somewhere very safe when you don't need to see them
  • Do change them right way if your paper is exposed

If we had to choose between unique passwords for all accounts written on paper or a single password reused everywhere, we would choose the unique passwords on paper. But we strongly encourage using a proper password manager over either practice.

At the very least, paper isn't connected to the internet.

Get on the list!

Learn about free training sessions, livestream Q&As, and new guides.

You can unsubscribe at anytime. For more details, review our Privacy Policy.