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Old 11-02-2006, 07:23 AM   #1
dthomsen8
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Default Passwords and PINS

It seems my life is filled with passwords and PINS, and it is getting beyond my ability to keep up. A good many of the passwords are connected with web sites and accounts for web sites and domains, including domain name registrars and web hosting companies.

Surely I am not the only member of this forum having this struggle with security. Security is needed, but sometimes it is also frustrating. There is a whole book on computer passwords, and there are many software packages claiming to manage passwords.

Have any of these tools, or others, helped you with passwords and personal identification numbers, and those annoying and not very secure questions about your mother's maiden name, or your high school?
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Old 11-02-2006, 07:38 AM   #2
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Several years ago I had a scare with my PalmOS PDA nearly getting lost, along with my list of assorted logins, passwords, insurance numbers, SSN numbers of my entire family, and other personal data that I'd simply typed into the PDA's built-in memo/notes app. Within a week I just happened to receive an email from a PalmOS app developer from whom I'd already bought an app I really liked. The email was about their SplashID app, which has both a PDA and desktop version. I bought it instantly and have been delighted with it ever since.

I use the desktop version every day. Stores and organizes much more than web logins, too: bank accounts, credit cards, serial numbers and activation codes, personal ID (SSNs, student IDs, drivers license,...), insurance policies,...and many more categories. For me it was a very smart purchase.

   
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
Surely I am not the only member of this forum having this struggle with security. Security is needed, but sometimes it is also frustrating. There is a whole book on computer passwords, and there are many software packages claiming to manage passwords.
Hasn't been a struggle for me for many years now. I've been using a little shareware package to keep track of all my passwords, storing the whole lot in a database (always keeping one backup, too!) for which database you need one password to open it. That's all.

These days, there are even better and more flexible apps, that can organize your data into a nice hierarchy of groups for instanced (mine just keeps a list by "account name" - which I assign; choosing good names is therefore essential to find them back). Lots of extra nifty security features (such as being able to insert your password into a web form without using the clipboard), auto-closing the window after a time out, etc. And a lot of these apps are freeware as well. I not switching only because I'm used to mine and have a load already in there.

Go hunt them down (Google is your friend, as are the big shareware/freeware sites like Tucows), try them out, see what you like best. It won't cost you anything but time - which you will easily earn back.

P.S. you can also go to this page on my Ban Spam site, and look in the side bar for "Password Management" - I haven't checked the links for a while though, and there may be newer apps around now; but it will give you some idea of what features to look for.

   
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:12 AM   #4
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My current solution is a stack of 40-some 4x6 recipe cards, one per site, on which I note the username(s) and password(s) for those sites. Except for occasional reference the cards stay sealed in a ZIP-loc bag. Regrettably I did not employ any 'obfuscation' for the credential information, but then I view the value of that information limited.

On my U3-enabled thumb drive I have a copy of portable Firefox, Thunderbird, Putty and Pass2Go - so that I can take my authentication means with me and, presumably, not leave any traces on the host computer. Regrettably I've not yet worked with the Pass2Go app so I cannot yet address it's features or failings.

From past experience I've learned that when you use a password-saving app you must start using it rigorously. I used one briefly then forgot IT'S password. Fortunately I had backups of all the passwords stored thereon -- but the app disappeared from my system.
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Old 11-02-2006, 10:03 AM   #5
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Default SplashID

Do you have any opinion on the SplashID software? ElyseC mentions it.
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Old 11-02-2006, 10:42 AM   #6
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Do you have any opinion on the SplashID software? ElyseC mentions it.
Looks like an app specifically for a PDA, with a matching PC version to back it up. PC programs tend to have more functionality though that you wouldn't necessarily need (or want) on a PDA. Like some have hierarchical categories and a tree view of those; practically all have a way to store relates URLs and jump directly to them, and fill in fields in web forms or easily copy (without having to do completely manual copy-and-paste). A PC app that only copies what you can do on a PDA is zalmost automatically more limited than an app that's designed for the PC.

If you have a PDA and want to use an app for both PC and PDA, try it out; otherwise I'd give it a miss. Try out some of the PC apps first in that case.

A quote from the Key Folder site:
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You can organize your information into custom folders and categories, copy usernames and passwords to the clipboard and search for specific entries. Another handy feature is that Key Folder allows you to associate multiple website or email links with an entry, which makes it easy to jump to specific pages or to contact support staff associate with the account. Key Folder also includes automatic backup and restore, import data, export data, a password generator, password expiration, drag and drop support and more.
That's freeware, and apart from SplashID's PDA-specific functions it actually has more functionality than that.

Note that I haven't used either - but I always do my first product evaluations on the basis of product information (features, screenshots, FAQs, forums, whatever is available).

   
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Old 11-02-2006, 10:57 AM   #7
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Hasn't been a struggle for me for many years now. I've been using a little shareware package to keep track of all my passwords, storing the whole lot in a database (always keeping one backup, too!) for which database you need one password to open it. That's all.
Same here. The one I use is Forgotit?, a Mac application that is wonderful. It even automatically copies your password when you click on the Password tab on the screen. It loads instantly, takes up almost no space...

   
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Old 11-02-2006, 11:41 AM   #8
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Like Elyse I use SplashID, which is one application I wouldn't want to be without!

The advantage of using a PDA/PC application is that if one device (PC or PDA) fails you have got a backup.

   
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:25 PM   #9
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Same here. The one I use is Forgotit?, a Mac application that is wonderful. It even automatically copies your password when you click on the Password tab on the screen. It loads instantly, takes up almost no space...
I had to remind myself here, since I knew I'd looked at it when I drew up a list for my Ban Spam site.

It looks like a handy little app. But I see no way to organize the information by categories or folders... I think that was what kept if out of my list, since I particularly looked for good ways to organize the information stored (the lack of which is "becoming" a weakness of my aging program - nearing 100 accounts for me now): A good set of tools to organize your information becomes more important as you add more information, so I specifically looked for that. (For those on the move, a way to run the program from a USB stick is also important; I also mentioned that for the programs that had this capability.)

That's not to say Forgotit? wouldn't be handy if you have a fairly limited set to keep track of. Do you use it for other things than passwords as well? Did you try any of the other Mac programs on my list?

   
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:26 PM   #10
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The advantage of using a PDA/PC application is that if one device (PC or PDA) fails you have got a backup.
True - but for the same reason and with the same advantage I keep my database synchronized between my main computer and my laptop.

   
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