Tuesday, March 25, 2014

All Those User Names and Passwords

I started thinking about this the other day when I had to update my e-mail address yet again at another site. It’s amazing how many places use your e-mail address as your user name. It’s a huge pain trying to remember all the sites you use especially when you get a new e-mail address like I did last year.

But this got me to thinking of all the many places we now have accounts in the Internet age. It wasn’t too long ago when you had just a few of these. Remember you were told not to use the same user name and password for different sites. And the big thing was to never ever never write this information down. This was especially true of the password. Also for the password it had to be something unique, something that people couldn’t easily figure out (so not your birthday date).

I think in the here and now that isn’t all that practical anymore. I thought on this for just a little while and came up with 15 places that I have some sort of an account that requires a user name and password. How are you possibly supposed to remember all of these without writing them down? This is especially true if you are supposed to have a different user name and password for every account you have.

That’s why using you e-mail address as the user name makes things a little easier. That is unless you’ve changed your e-mail address in the not too distant past like I’ve done.

So the question is what to do to remember all of these user names and passwords.  And the logical response is I bet there’s an app for that. And you’d be right. I did a search at the Apple App store and there are all sorts of apps to store all your passwords while keeping them safe. But of course there’s just one thing, there must be a password to get access it. Where do you keep that one?


Arthur Schenck said...

I use Last Pass (https://lastpass.com/), which is "freemium" software, meaning it's free, but you can also pay and get added features (like ability to use it on multiple devices). The company also makes Xmarks, which synchronises your web book marks won all your different web browsers (I have three). If you pay, it will sync to smartphones, tablets, etc.

Last Pass removes access to site logins via Apple's Keychain (which isn't secure), and it can also generate random and very strong passwords. This is something most people will do after having Last Pass run an audit which almost often finds we re-used the same password too often, have ones that aren't very strong, etc.

You're right, you do have to remember one master password, without which you lose all access to your logins permanently (the company doesn't record your password). To make sure it's a atrong password, most people write it down and keep it somewhere safe, away from their computer.

Jason in DC said...

So do you have this on your computer or on your phone or both places.

I was wondering about where you put the app or program. I guess it makes sense to have it on your phone so the list is portable.