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Tracking important information

Here's how to track all your software licenses, Unique passwords and other critical information. All your passwords should be unique.

When you get a new computer, or otherwise need to re-install software, you often need to know your license key. This includes keys for your anti-virus program, backup program, MS Office and many more. You should keep these licenses in your password safe as well. You should also track which versions of software you have.


Many of my clients use MS Office, but don't know if they’re using MS Office 2019 or 2016 or 2013 or maybe they have a subscription. When does it renew? For how much? How many computers can they lost Office onto with their license? For office you can get this from a help menu then about, or from signing in to https://Office.com and checking your account. Microsoft makes it particularly difficult because there are so many different ways to buy or subscribe to Office and they change often.

You should track all that information in one place and you might as well save it with the password to get into your MS Office account. I also save my credit card information, drivers license and even VIN number. I keep my home owner's insurance policy number, car insurance number, PGE account number and roughly a billion other things in my password safe. All in one place. All safe and encrypted.

I also save other information in there as well. For example, along with my PGE bill, I have the size of the filters I need to buy for my furnace and voter registration information.

How to use your password safe for storing information

Two mistakes people make with a password safe is that they make a password and then enter it into their password safe, or forget. This is backwards. First, put the new account and password into your password safe. Do this Before you set up an account online. Then copy the username and password from your password safe to your new online account. Don’t type it. This does two things:
  1. You know the information is in your password safe
  2. You know the information in the safe is correct.
When a company sends you registration or other information in an email, copy the important parts of that email and paste it into the appropriate record in your password safe.

Keep all this information in one place. Don't have it spread out between your browser, your password safe and written notes.

Recommended Password Safes

I recommend three password safes:
  1. Keepass is a time-tested, simple local password safe. It is open-source, and has been security audited. It’s widely used, and I use it myself.
  2. Keepass2Android is the best Android program that can read, write and use a Keepass file. I use it myself.
  3. Bitwarden is an excellent open-source online password manager. It allows you to use multiple devices with multiple operating systems on all your devices because it will synchronize to online storage while remaining secure.

Further reading

Date: April 2022

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