Too Many Passwords

One thing that I run into a lot when working with web clients is the abundance of online user accounts that are required for managing all the online properties. The pile of usernames and passwords required to access everything stacks up fast. I’m typically in a role where I’m making people’s life worse in this regard. When we hand off a new website to a client there are always new user accounts to go along with it. To help ease the pain I always like to recommend a solution to ease the burden of all of the usernames and passwords that might be piling up. With even just one website, if you don’t have somebody managing everything for you, you might have to remember logins for:

  • The website CMS
  • The hosting control panels
  • FTP credentials
  • Social media accounts
  • Domain name accounts
  • Web analytics, tracking and reporting accounts
  • … and usually more

In most cases I will recommend to use some sort of password management software when I see a client (or coworker) who gets overwhelmed by keeping track of their usernames and passwords. Password management software will help you store all your passwords in a safe place, and is usually a better option than writing all your usernames/passwords on a sheet of paper or in a text file in terms of security. With software such as 1Password or LastPass, you really only need to actually remember ONE password to access all your other passwords. There are other software options as well, such as the open source Password Safe. More are listed at Wikipedia. The concept of password management can be very useful if you have several, or even hundreds of account logins to remember. And most of these types of software offer web browser plugins to make it easy to log into all your websites and accounts as well as the ability to sync data between your devices for efficiency. If you decide you want to go this route for password management, it can help to do some web searches for the best password manager. The software landscape changes over time. For example, LastPass was just bought by LogMeIn and many users are concerned about this if you read the comments on the article. You will run across a lot of arguments and comparisons when searching the web that will help you understand the popular software management software options out there, but it will help you get a better idea of how the various types of password managers compare to each other.

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