Keeping track of your passwords

Clark Howard was talking about the multitude of passwords that we now have to keep track of today. From home and work email, to your power company, to twitter, there’s a password for everything now. It’s a real pain to have to keep up with them all, especially securely.

Some people try to make a simple password, usually for multiple sites. Something like a childs name, followed by a number (e.g. “Michelle2”), and then it’s used for most websites. This isn’t very original, nor is it secure. If a hacker breaks into one of the sites that you use that password with, that password has been compromised, and with it, the other sites you access with that password.

Well, there’s always writing them down, right? Sure, you can write all your passwords in a little book that you keep with you all the time. But those are too easy to lose, destroy or steal.

A method that I tried a long time ago was to use the name of the site in the password. For instance, if I wanted to get into the Suntrust bank site, I’d use “$untru$T1!” as a password, and attempt to remember that. Unfortunately, that’s not as safe as you might think, and again, not as easy to remember as you’d like.

Enter 1Password, from Agile Web Solutions. 1Password allows you to store your huge amount of passwords in its database, along with the username and website in the same entry. Even more, 1Password can also store your computer software serial numbers, credit card numbers and pins, as well as notes that you wish to keep secure. Of course, the program keeps your data safe with a strong encryption algorithm, and a password of your choosing (so make it good and strong!).

There’s a plugin for most (if not all) browsers as well. That plugin allows you to fill in the authentication information for the website you are on, as well as any information that you may have to fill in repeatedly, such as your Name/Address/etc.

These days, we want access to our sites on all our devices, at anytime. This need is filled by the clients on our various devices that Agile has developed, and synced with Dropbox, which I’ve discussed earlier.Agile has put out clients for the iPhone and iPad, Mac and a Windows version as well.

There is other software that will fill this need as well, including Lastpass, Wallet and Keepass, but I always stick with my tried and true 1Password. You should give it a shot!