Since becoming self-employed, I have come to think of this sort of like the spy business. Here you are running a business and you have to figure out first where your customers are congregating. Then, you have to figure out how to steal some of your competitor’s secrets to build your own business (if they aren’t nice enough to just tell you). Finally, along with the knowledge to run the business, you find out other business people usually have a ton of contacts that require a huge amount of networking. Then, if you are online (like me), you find that there is yet another layer of security that makes your task of keeping track of it all even more impossible: Usernames and passwords.
Today I spent a large amount of time remembering all my past identities. I know that when you run a blog, you have to link it to multiple places like feedburner and technorati. I had joined all those places and more when I last had a blog. That blog is now defunct as a site that collapsed and never came back. I had many readers and commentators and the whole thing just blew up in smoke one day. Anyways, it really left a sour taste in my mouth about blogs. And, so I haven’t really kept up with all the blog networking like I should. I forgot which identities I had used for multiple sites and I surely couldn’t remember the passwords.
High Tech Solutions
Well, I hear there are electronic password managers, but after my blog blow-up I am very hesitant to store everything online somewhere. Some people will suggest to just hit the “Remember Me” option on the password sites and that way you don’t have to remember any of them! That’s great until your pc crashes, like mine did. Then, you are back to square one except this time you never bothered to remember the passwords because the computer was supposed to do it for you!
My Low Tech Solution
I came across this little tid bit recently. I had bought one of those rolodexes for my office but realized that unlike passwords, addresses are easily stored and imported and exported between programs. They can even be printed out rather nicely in an address book format. So, I decided I had wasted my money on the rolodex – until I found out I could use it for multiple websites and my online identities and passwords!
I just take out a card from the rolodex and put the name of the website at the top. This is how I will file it, by website name. I add the username and password combination and anything extra near the bottom, like those pesky security questions I never remember either. I’m not using this for banking sites or anything that could cost me a lot of money if someone came in and stole it. So, I think it’s a good idea. And, it will save me tons of time should my pc crash again because I do use the “Remember Me” function too. I just love simple and easy little tips like this that make my high tech life just a little more meditative and restful.
*Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons license by firstname.lastname@example.org.