Have you ever had an experience like the following:
Navigate to a secure site so you can check your bank statement. Punch in your user name. Try to think of your password. You recall it’s one of 3 or 4 you’ve used recently. So, you try the first, most obvious one that makes sense for this site. You quickly get a pop up box: “Invalid password. Try again.” You suddenly remember that you only have three attempts to get into this site, then you will be blocked out for some undetermined amount of time. So, you rack your brain trying to determine the proper password. After much serious thought, you try the second password. Rats!! “Invalid password. Try again.” OK, you’re down to the wire. The next one must work or you will be caught in the eternal loop of password purgatory. You search the entire house/office for that little sticky note that has 6 of your 49 passwords scratched on it. It is nowhere to be found. After using up all of your life lines, you try one last password. “Invalid password. You’re sunk!” Suddenly, red lights flash, buzzers sound, the room starts spinning, and you realize you are now blocked out! You make a desperate call for help, only to be given an automated system that says, “If you’ve been blocked from our website because you’ve forgotten your password, shame on you!” You then begin to surf the web for a good stress management counselor.
If you are like most computer users these days, password management can become overwhelming at best, a nightmare at worst. Not only do you need secure passwords that no one can duplicate, but you also must actually REMEMBER them all. Many of us have a “cheat sheet” with passwords scratched all over the page, otherwise we would be at a complete loss in getting logged into those secure sites where a huge portion of our lives are stored. However, the sticky note method of remembering password is not recommended if you want the world to remain unable to access your information.
Solution: There are tools available to help us deal with all of the password issues we have for our online communications. One such automated password manager and web form filler that comes highly recommended for PCs is RoboForm. This tool remembers all passwords for you, with total security. Here are some of the features of this tool:
- Provides an autosave for passwords in the browser
- Will autofill passwords into the login form
- Will complete personal info into long registration and checkout forms for any website
- Can generate secure random passwords
- Encrypts passwords and personal data
- Will sync passwords and notes to Palm or Pocket PC
- Provides complete data on all passwords upon request of owner
- Allows for multiple users to be set up
- Can be accessed from any computer if you wish to use RoboForm2Go (portable version of RoboForm) using your USB key
There are many other features to this password management system, and cost is $29.95 for a RoboForm License, with discounts for package deals.
Another tool, HandyPassword, sells for $29.92. Password Manager Deluxe lists for $19.95, with a free 30 day trial. There are still other products/sites that provide such support for password recall and protection, and they are proven to be secure, easy to use, and worth the time investment and minimal cost…just so sanity can be maintained!! Happy searching for the automated password manager that is just right for you!
Phyllis R. Snipes,
University of West Georgia