When I first started using the internet years and years ago when AOL was in its infancy and dial-up seemed FAST, I used to keep a sticky note on my monitor with all of my online passwords. There weren’t actually too many, but enough that I needed to write them down – and they all fit on one small piece of paper.
Fast forward to today and I have literally hundreds of accounts at different places online and in order to protect myself, I always use different passwords and different user names.
This presents a number of problems:
1. How to remember them.
2. Where to store them so I won’t lose them.
3. How to access them easily so it doesn’t take me an hour just to log-in to a message board.
4. How to come up with that many different password combinations to make sure they are secure.
Another issue I have online is filling out forms. I sign up for a lot of freebies, I shop online, and frequently find myself filling in my name and address online. This gets to be tedious and when you do it multiple times a day you just wonder if there is a better way.
Well, there is.
A couple of years ago I discovered a software called Roboform and I have used it ever since.
Roboform is a password manager and form filler. It not only stores all of your passwords and log-ins to help you organize all of your online information, it has an option where it will make up the passwords for you to make sure that your passwords are as complicated and “un-hackable” as possible. Roboform also allows you to create “identities” that allow you to easily fill in web forms such as newsletter subscriptions, online shopping shipping and billing information and more. Plus, you can password protect Roboform to prevent anyone from accessing your passwords.
From their site:
*Manage your passwords and Log In automatically.
*Fill long registration and checkout forms with one click.
*Encrypt your passwords to achieve complete security.
*Generate random passwords to maximize password strength.
*Fight Phishing by entering passwords only on matching web sites.
*Defeat Keyloggers by not using the keyboard to type passwords.
*Back up your passwords and copy them between computers.
*Synchronize passwords between computers using GoodSync.
Roboform installs itself into your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox and AOL/MSN) and functions as a toolbar. When you arrive on a site where you have to enter your user name and password, the very first time you enter the info, Roboform will ask you if you want to save a “passcard” with the information in it. If you click “yes” the next time you visit that site, you can set Roboform to display a pop-up with that site’s passcard and all you have to do is press the “fill” button and it fills in your information for you automatically. You can literally log-in to your favorites sites with ONE CLICK.
If you frequently sign up for new things or shop at new places online, you can set up “identities” that will allow you to never have to fill any information in on those forms ever again. The identity forms are customizable and will pretty much recognize any fields you enter into it. When you arrive on a page where you need to fill in your info, you just click on the name of your saved identity in the toolbar and it fills in the form for you in a split second.
The initial download of Roboform – the FREE version – is limited in that after the first 30 days you can only save 10 passcards and 2 identities. The paid version has unlimited of both and includes full support and free life-time updates for only $30. That is what I paid for it years ago, they have never raised the cost and they keep the software updated.
I have no idea how I would do what I do every day without Roboform. I highly recommend paying for the Pro version but it is certainly worth trying the FREE version to see if you like it. And they even have a “to-g” version that installs on your compact flash drive.
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