Show of hands: how many of you have at least one password on a sticky note somewhere in your office?
Truth is, nearly every software application we use requires authentication. We can’t possibly remember a different password for each application, and using the same password everywhere doesn’t seem very smart either.
There is a better way and in fact it’s free: use a password manager.
Password managers are software applications that store all your passwords in an encrypted database. We’ve used two with good success at WESCO Net: PasswordSafe by Bruce Schneier (who literally wrote “the” book on encryption) and KeePass. They also work great for storing shared passwords between team members.
With either you only need remember one password ever: the one to your password vault. All your other passwords are kept securely inside the vault application. You can organize them by application or web site and have the system generate random passwords for you when it’s time to change. Copy/paste passwords into web forms or browse to stored websites with a simple click of the mouse.