You’re feeling pretty smug that you’ve created a strong password system, and you’re confident your data, files, and sensitive information is as safe as a lock-down at Fort Knox. But in the light of the recent brute force hacking attempts on WordPress accounts, everyone should be double-checking and rethinking their password process.
The first order of business would be to keep your passwords safe. In other words, don’t leave them lying around (i.e. on a note taped to your desk or monitor), or make them blatantly obvious (“ABC123”). There are several safe and encrypted programs available today to keep your vital passwords safe, yet easy to access. Here are a few for you to review.
1Password: How much time do you spend hitting the “forgot password” link on the multitude of sites and accounts you need to access? 1Password, a Macworld 2010 Eddy Award Winner, is a program that allows you to save all of your passwords in one place. The best thing is that you only need to remember one master password to access the password storage. Folders and tags make it even easier to find the password you need; and you can even categorize by suppliers, clients, sites and more. It’s available for Mac and Windows, as well as iPhone, iPad and Android.
LastPass: Named one of PC World’s 100 Best Products in 2009, LastPass functions very much like 1Password, and also offers password sharing in such a secure way that you can share them without divulging their contents. LastPass has a free version, a very affordable paid version, and is available for PC, Mac and Linux computers as well as iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows, webOS and more.
RoboForm: (My personal favorite) RoboForm works in Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer (not supported in Safari or Opera), and they use something called PassCards to store your passwords. Once you start to access a webpage with an associated PassCard, RoboForm will automatically bring up the site name in your browser. Click on the link and it will fill in the saved login information. If you have more than 1 login for a particular site, a list of your options will drop down so you can choose which one you want. You can also use RoboForm to generate strong passwords, create individual “identities” to save info for quickly filling in order forms or opening online accounts. RoboForm has a free version (for up to 10 logins), RoboForm To Go (take it with you on a USB drive) and also an “Everywhere” version that offers unlimited passwords, form filling, and bookmarks for use on multiple computers and mobile devices to keep them in perfect sync. Normally $19.95 per year, but now $9.95 for the first year.