Monday, November 13, 2006

Managing Passwords

Everyone who uses a PC complains about the same problem - "How do I manage all my on-line passwords?". It's no longer a trivial matter managing usernames and passwords for all your on-line accounts, whether its for e-mail e.g. Hotmail, GMail, or other webmail of choice, e-commerce sites e.g., or Victoria's Secret, your VOIP site e.g. Skype and VoipStunt or any of the myriad other on-line accounts one can create.

What some people do is to use a single password for as many of their online accounts as possible. While this can simplify matters somewhat it's not a recommended practice. I certainly wouldn't use the same password for my on-line banking or PayPal account as I do for a discussion forum on home improvements. Some of the smaller sites that require a username and password for registration may not have adequate security on their servers and I always assume that they don't - therefore I try to keep separate passwords for anything that involves financial transactions.

Of course the problem with this is that it becomes difficult to track all the different usernames and passwords. This is where RoboForm comes in. This program has been around for a while now but I've only just started using it. In a nutshell the program allows you to create a single master password for RoboForm which runs from a toolbar after it is installed. Then, when you go to a site that requires a username and password RoboForm creates a Passcard for that site, remembering the login details the next time you login to the site. After a single visit to each site requiring a username and password you no longer need to remember the login details for the site - RoboForm does it for you. The program is extremely secure using a number of encryption options and offers a useful feature for filling out on-line forms, a boring task most of us would rather avoid.

If password management has become a problem then give RoboForm a try. A limited Passcard version is available for free while the full version costs just $29.95.

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