Jim Fisher

I find myself uninspired this week and have no big new scams to report on. But I have been dealing with this exact issue quite a lot this week so here’s a repeat article that serves as a refresher and reminder that losing certain passwords can be a very bad thing for you.

There are certain passwords that you simply cannot forget. Losing some passwords can render your email of phone or tablet useless. We technicians can usually help people with forgotten passwords but sometimes our best isn’t good enough. I have the unenviable job of telling lots of people that I can’t help them. I don’t like that mainly because, when I can’t help you, I can’t take your money. So please help me help you give me money by (literally) taking some notes. This article will focus on the two most important passwords you can remember: the ones for your smartphones.

For those of you who own iPhones, you have to have an Apple account email and password. Lot’s of you have claimed, “I don’t have one,” but you can’t own an iPhone without one. Your phone is “hard-wired” to this account so that, if someone steals your phone, it will be worthless to them. Without that password, you can’t install apps on your phone. All your photos and contacts can be lost for good if your phone dies. Apple is very restrictive about resetting passwords. If you don’t know the answers to your security questions such as “What was the name of your first pet?” and haven’t set up 2-factor authentication, you will have to go through a torturous weeks-long process with Apple to be able to eventually get things sorted out. So, while you still remember it, write down your Apple credentials somewhere and keep it updated.

Next is those of you with Android phones. You have to have a Gmail account to own one. I wish I had $45 for every person who had an Android phone but didn’t know their Gmail address, much less the password. As with Apple, if you don’t know these things, you can lose all your contacts and data if you lose or replace your phone. Gmail makes it a little easier than Apple to reset lost passwords but there are still some significant hurdles that simply can’t be overcome unless you can recall some details about your account. So, again, write this stuff down where you can find it when the time comes.

After you write this stuff down, please visit your account “profile” of your Apple and Gmail accounts and make sure you have completed the security checkups. One part will ask for your phone number. You need to enter that. Doing so will make a password reset much easier on both of us if you require my help.



Hey, help me out? What’s bugging you? What do you need help with? Who scammed you recently? Inspire me with an article idea and I’ll make you famous! Be safe, my friends.


Jim Fisher owns Excel Computer Services in Florence. Reach him at www.ExcelAL.com