Do you ever have trouble remembering a password? (Are you kidding? Are frogs waterproof?)

You could try creating passwords with a unified theme; tropical birds, for example. Or … if you want to password-protect a file on your computer, you can try “DocLock,” a $30 program for Windows. It lets you use an image instead of text as a password. (Works well with tropical birds.)

DocLock starts with four options: Lock, unlock, manage passwords or “secure delete.” To lock a file, click to generate a random password or make one up. Then instead of writing it down and losing it a few minutes later, save it as an image by browsing to some picture on your computer. To unlock the file, load the image and the file unlocks.

DocLock also lets you save portable versions of your locked files, so you can store them on flash drives, or create an encrypted version for emailing. There’s a free trial at

If you’re not sure you want to spend $30, you might check your computer to see if it has an encryption program already on it. We bought cheap Acer laptops recently that included “MyWinLocker” for this purpose. It’s excellent.

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